Maggie Callahan’s knack for transforming chocolate into art is inspiring, to say the least. As the founder and creative director of Maggie Louise Confections, the Cordon Bleu-trained confectionist has reinvented the classic chocolate sampler box by combining color, customization, and style within every piece of chocolate, forming whimsical creations with fashionably artistic designs. The MLC team, comprised of a team of former lawyers, pastry chefs, and techies, reside in Austin, home of their flagship chocolate atelier. We caught up with Callahan for a brief peek inside her sweet world, and here’s what we learned!
What inspires you?
I find inspiration from art, antique cookbooks, fashion, and whatever else is happening in the world around me. I’ve always kept sketchbooks from my travels and I often turn to them for inspiration and ideas. I feel that unique design is inspired by unique sources, so I seek out the unexpected when I am looking for inspiration.
Have you always had a passion for sweets?
Absolutely. As a kid, I’d ride my bike to the drug store and buy candy for all the kids on my block (charging a fee for my deliveries, of course!); in high school I scooped ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s; in law school, during brief windows of free time, I’d treat myself to a matinee and a bag of Sour Patch Kids; I even threw myself a candy-themed 30th birthday party years ago. I have always loved brightly colored sweets, baking cakes, and creating elaborate sweets. Luckily, I also enjoy vegetables and exercise.
We can’t get enough of the edible lipsticks! What inspired that?
I’ve always taken a playful approach to what I do. Food is often taken too seriously but chocolate is a joyful treat. Why can’t it be fun and feminine? Why can’t it be fabulously delicious but also shaped like a lipstick, a camera, or a pineapple? A few years ago, I asked myself these questions and our chocolate lipsticks were born.
Walk us through your typical process of creating sweets – what influences the designs and shapes of the chocolates you make?
The first step is to articulate the story I am trying to tell. Is it a spring day? A moment at my vanity table? A trip to Paris with my husband? I then pull inspiration from my own memories or from art and design. Finally, I weave together shapes, colors, painting techniques, and in many cases, chocolate letters, that tell the intended story while delighting the eyes and palates of our clients.
Where do you see Maggie Louise Chocolates going in the future?
I see an MLC boutique in every major U.S. city as we continue to create novel and unique collections for our clients. We currently ship all over the U.S. – 365 days a year (even when it is 110F+ degrees in Austin) and I see our reach growing exponentially. I want everyone — from the beaches of Hawaii to the outer banks of North Carolina to the icy chill of Minnesota — to enjoy a delivery from MLC!
See more from Maggie Louise Confections, here!