MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It turns out that one of the up-and-comers on the national chocolate scene is in Hudson, Wis.

Over the past few months, Knoke’s Chocolate has been visited by Duff from ACE of Cakes and Martha Stewart who tried to learn his techniques.

When Dave Knoke started it all in 2002, he knew how to do inventory, but this type of business venture, he never saw coming.

“I worked in the livestock industry 12, 13 years so, totally, not this at all,” Knoke said.

Knoke inherited the shop from his ex-wife and found a sweet spot he didn’t know he had. It’s a spot western Wisconsinites found, too.

Now, Knoke’s getting orders from people who may not even know what the St. Croix is.

“We get a lot more orders it seems from Florida, New York and Texas, a lot more internet orders,” Knoke said.

That might be because of the slew of visitors he’s hosted lately, from the Ace of Cakes to Martha Stewart.

“I was making caramel,” he said. “She wanted to know what I cooked it to, looked a little light in color and all these questions.”

There’s a lot to look at Knoke’s store, but caramel salted chocolates are the stars of the show. That’s what got him an invitation to the Bethenny show, which he politely declined.

“I said ‘Nope, I’m not spending two days to go out there, I gotta be back Friday night. I’m going to Wisconsin for a football game,'” Knoke said.

He says somehow word has gotten out, which is something he’s clearly adjusting.

“I tell people, I assume to be on the front page than the back page.”

It’s said life can be as sweet as you make it and it seems sweets can make for a pretty nice one.

“It’s fun, but we’ve got things to do,” he said.

Knoke says this holiday season business has been huge. His next big adventure – in January he will host a Willy Wonka style golden tickets, the winners will get an inside tour of his chocolate factory.

For more information, check out Knoke’s website and his Facebook.


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