Years in Tampa Bay
Rodriguez moved to St. Petersburg in 2019, while Pugin still lives in Miami.
Chefs and co-owners, CocoAddiction
What do you do?
Make and sell chocolates
Why do you do it?
With chocolate, you can make so many forms, so many colors. You can be artistic, but the principal thing is the flavor. It’s difficult to make a good chocolate with a beautiful design but we try to do that.
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
Pugin was a chef at a restaurant in Miami and decided to make an after-dinner tray with lots of little chocolates. The customers said they were good and kept asking for them. Originally, making chocolates was going to be a side project, but so many people asked for the chocolates that they decided to start their own shop.
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
It’s a lot of work to make great chocolates. So many people don’t know what’s behind each piece of chocolate. Each piece has four to five coatings of color, then there is the shell and the filling. You put it on display, and then into a box before you eat it and enjoy it. It’s a two-day process for each piece.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
To make sure we make you happy. We need to make sure the product is the highest quality.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
Rodriguez: “Be true to yourself and respect the product.”
Pugin: “Work hard and be humble.”