Our story

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

Meet the chocolatiers

Lindsay Tarnoff

Lindsay Tarnoff

Founder and Chief Chocolatier

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 her daughter and family.

Karla Carey

Karla Carey

Chief Operations Officer

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.

Allison Zukoski

Allison Zukoski

Chief Financial Officer

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.

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

Laughing Gull Gab

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 save 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 save the world with chocolate.

How do we save the world with chocolate?

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