We aim to use chocolate as a catalyst towards positive social change while minimizing our carbon footprint and choosing high quality, ethically sourced ingredients. When you purchase our chocolate you are supporting direct trade and organic practices in Latin American cacao farms. This encourages sustainable farming techniques, fair living wages, and better standards and education for workers. We source many ingredients locally to help support other small businesses and Rochester’s local economy. In addition, we train young people in workforce development and facilitate workshops on chocolate making. We are working to create programs with local schools to use chocolate as a tool to educate on chemistry, history and social justice.
Laughing Gull Chocolates was conceived out of a long-standing love affair with chocolate, a fascination with its story, and a desire to use chocolate as a vehicle for social change. After spending years delving into the story of chocolate, founder Lindsay Tarnoff discovered that she loved making chocolate as much as she intended to use it to change the world. Her motivation strengthened, Lindsay started sharing her passion of chocolate through unique chocolate truffles, and fun, educational workshops.
The new business was nurtured with love and care in Rhode Island. Lindsay and her growing family soon found a new home in Rochester, NY and Laughing Gull evolved into a brick and mortar store on East Main Street. The business continued to grow. Karla started working at the shop prior to the Grand Opening; soon thereafter, Allison began to spend most if her days at the shop. The three became fast friends and discovered that their personalities and professional skills were complementary. In July 2018, Karla and Allison joined the team as business owners. Together, they are working hard to change the world with chocolate.
The store flourished, as well, and has became a space where beautiful chocolate products and tantalizing drinks are made. The desire to develop their careers while spending their days with their children inspired the team to create a shop with amenities that would allow them to care for their babies while evolving professionally. Laughing Gull Chocolates is now a family-friendly space that hosts ice cream socials, meet-ups for parents, and Family Dance Parties - where a mom or dad can come to enjoy a cheese plate or a drink while their children play in a safe place.
Laughing Gull Chocolates creates delicious, mouthwatering chocolate with a conscience. Our tagline is “saving the world with chocolate,” and we believe we do make the world a better place. We strive to make new connections in our community, and use chocolate as a facilitator of business education, sustainability, and responsible consumerism. We use direct trade, organic chocolate and as many locally- and ethically-sourced ingredients in our product as possible. We house other goods on our shelves, supporting the local economy and fellow small businesses. Finally, our workshops not only teach the art of chocolate but also raise awareness of the various ecological and socioeconomic aspects of it’s cultivation. This is just the beginning; with time and care, we intend to continue to build our capacity to change the world through our favorite treat- chocolate.
Meet the Team
Three momprenuers who came together with a passion for chocolate, community, and sustainability.
Founder & Chief Chocolatier
The woman with the vision, Lindsay started Laughing Gull Chocolates in Rhode Island in 2014. Named in honor of her grandmother and led by a desire to change the world with chocolate, Lindsay has taken chocolate confections to a new level. She leads the workshops with her knowledge and experience from visiting various cacao farms and a drive for finding a sustainable way to bring this commodity to our community. Her palette for flavors is unmatched and her passion for our mission has only been topped by her love of her daughter and family.
It was Karla's business acumen, love of community - and some serendipity - that led her to join Laughing Gull Chocolates. Before they knew it, Karla and Dylan had become a part of the Laughing Gull village, and Karla's values and professional experience made her an invaluable team member. Her past managerial experience combined with her determination and passion for small women-owned businesses helped bring our ideals to life. Her values and resolve continue to advance the business forward, allowing for progress and more room to make the world a better place through chocolate.
Bringing a mind for numbers and a love of business, Allison has graced Laughing Gull Chocolates with her computing skills and charisma. After completing her MBA at the Simon School of Business, Allison held a variety of positions before finding her home at the chocolate shop. Driven by her desire to spend quality time with her daughter while continuing to grow professionally and make a difference in her community, she was a perfect fit. Her passion for creating and achieving the vision of a charitable, yet profitable, business has made her invaluable.