Our story

Three momprenuers who came together with a passion for chocolate, community, and sustainability.

Meet the chocolatiers

Lindsay Tarnoff

Lindsay Tarnoff

Founder & Dream Alchemist

Director of Education
and Community Engagement

The woman with the vision, Lindsay started Laughing Gull Chocolates in Rhode Island in 2014. Led by a desire to change the world with chocolate, Lindsay has taken chocolate confections to a new level. She leads her workshops with 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 family. Lindsay sets a high standard for building community with intention and care.

Karla Carey

Karla Carey

Logistics Luminary

Director of Operations and Finance

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 her son, Dylan, had become a part of the Laughing Gull village. Her past managerial experience combined with her determination and passion for small women-owned businesses helped bring our ideals to life. Her values, resolve, and analytical eye continue to advance the business forward, allowing for progress and more room to make the world a better place through chocolate.

Allison Zukoski

Allison Zukoski

Creator of Opportunities

Director of Partnerships and Sales

Allison was driven to Laughing Gull during its early days by a desire to spend quality time with her new daughter while continuing her professional growth. Quickly connecting through shared core values, she became an integral part of everyday operations. After completing her MBA at the Simon School of Business, Allison held a variety of positions before finding her home at the chocolate shop. Her passion for genuinely connecting with people as individuals is a perfect fit for driving our partnerships while maintaining our high value standards.

Dark Chocolate square with Laughing Gull Chocolates Logo
Laughing Gull Chocolates, Rochester NY

Where did the name Laughing Gull come from?

The name “Laughing Gull Chocolates” serves as an homage to founder, Lindsay’s, grandmother. An avid chocolate and bird lover, she inspired Lindsay’s passion for cacao.

Artistic image of cacao beans in a cacao pod, raw chocolate and a metate

The Laughing Gull Chocolates origin story is about uniting two passions — a love of chocolate and a desire to be part improving our world. Founder Lindsay Tarnoff was studying Spanish, Government and Latin American Studies, and writing a capstone paper on the History of the Morality of Chocolate when she learned the story of the cacao tree and the bean used to make chocolate. Both traded as currency and made into a sacred drink by the indigenous cultures of the Yucatan, cacao’s story was further complicated by European colonialism.

Lindsay’s fascination with cacao’s story, her love for eating good chocolate, and goal to use ethically sourced chocolate to help change the world finally evolved into Laughing Gull’s mission.

Learning to make rich ganache and temper chocolate in a Pastry Arts class at Johnson and Wales led to a hobby in sharing her love of chocolate with family and friends. Soon that evolved into a small business that flourished in the farmers markets of Rhode Island. The doors to Laughing Gull Chocolates finally opened in 2016 when Lindsay and her growing family moved to Rochester, New York. Here, she was on her way to creating community around unique chocolate truffles and fun, educational workshops.

Making a new home included meeting Karla and Allison as the three gathered with their infants (all born just weeks apart) at a local space for a community of breastfeeding moms. It didn’t take long for the ‘momprenuers’ to become friends, and soon partners in Laughing Gull Chocolates. Together they think globally and act locally, in a most delicious way, to help change the world with chocolate.

How do we change the world with chocolate?

Stacked Coffee Squares in front of Sweet and Cute Coffee Syrup and Joe Bean Coffee