JUNE 2018: Amy Jo had the privilege of being one of fifty women Entrepreneurs picked for Trending50! Host Renee Marie Smith, Esq. hand picked 50 women entrepreneurs and executives from across the country to talk about the new definition of success for professional women in America today. Click on the video image to watch her 10 minute interview with Amy Jo at The Hood Kitchen Space. You will be inspired!
MAY 2018: Two local chocolate factories closing, one will move to Canada, the other, Valenza Chocolatier, will reopen with a bigger and better shop in June feature in the Orange County Register by Anne Valdespino ; "Amy Jo Pedone, Orange County’s premier indie chocolatier, has developed a business that’s grown so much she feared she was going to have to “hide” because she couldn’t take on more orders. But suddenly she and The Hood Kitchen, her workspace in Costa Mesa, have found a solution: grow together. Valenza Chocolatier will close until June 4 in order to reopen in a bigger and better spot as The Hood Kitchen, a pay-by-the hour commercial kitchen, expands."
APRIL 2018: Costa Mesa Chocolatier: As a proud Costa Mesa business working in The Hood Kitchen Space and a member of the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce (Costa Mesa, CA), Amy Jo was honored to share her inspiring Valenza Chocolatier journey on the I HEART COSTA MESA podcast. "Treat yo’ self! On this episode of The I Heart Costa Mesa Show, we’re indulging in an interview with local Master Chocolatier and Costa Mesa resident, Amy Jo Pedone, of Valenza Chocolatier. Pedone has harnessed her Sicilian family heritage, and knack for edible artistry, to create confections as beautiful as they are decadent. Pedone takes us on a journey from quitting her corporate job to family tragedy to starting her own chocolates business at The Hood Kitchen Space in Costa Mesa. (Along with the entrepreneurial highs and lows she’s lived along the way.) We get the rundown on all her famous chocolates – the tartarugas (turtles), bonbons, confections and bars – and, of course, we ask her our Fast Final Fives. This is some next-level chocolate talk you’ll want to sample… Costa Mesa style!" - I Heart Costa Mesa
APRIL 2018: A Collaborative Workspace for Food Entrepreneurs - The Hood Kitchen Space feature by Sauté Magazine: It is beyond a shared commercial kitchen rental, it is a community of Culinary Entrepreneurs supporting each other every step of the way. Dreams Become Reality at THE HOOD!
MARCH 2018: What Easter looked like decade by decade feature by Taste of Home: For the 1980's....Mom Valenza with THE EGG (slide 17) highlighting this cherished Valenza family tradition and our Easter Collection inspiration.
FEBRUARY 2018: Last-minute Valentine’s Day treats to win a chocolate lover’s heart feature on the Daily Breeze/Orange County Register by Anne Valdespino; "Amy Jo Pedone fell in love with the Italian style of chocolate-making, and now she crafts her own in Orange County. Creamy milk chocolate with hazelnuts is our favorite bar, but she makes truffles, caramel turtles and much more."
FEBRUARY 2018: Incredibly Sweet Indulgences feature in Newport Beach Lifestyle by Deirdre Michalski; "Here was my first impression of Amy Jo…“Amy Jo is one part entrepreneur, another part scientist, and a dash of just plain adorable!" I am partial to her Limoncello Bonbons, which melt in your mouth, and my husband’s favorite is the Tartaruga (turtle in Italian), a chewy caramel with roasted Georgia pecans and a dark chocolate shell."
FEBRUARY 2018: 5 Orange County Chocolate Companies to Turn to for your Valentine’s Day feature in Orange Coast Magazine by Michelle Pagaran; we totally agree...our Valentine’s Day Collection is ‘Love at First Bite’...especially THE HEART, an edible modern take on the traditional red heart chocolate box, and our BOURBON BAR!
DECEMBER 2017: The Sweet Life feature in Pelican Hill Magazine by Nadine Hoffman; "...dreams have thrown caution to the wind and appear to be beating the odds by seducing local, corporate and online customers with desserts that take us back to a time when homemade was par for the course."
FEBRUARY 2017: Did you forget to plan for Valentine’s Day? Here are 10 quick fixes feature in The Orange County Register by Peter Larsen; "Instead, maybe hit up one of the Godiva shops you’ll find in the fancier malls. You know this stuff is good because it comes from a place called Godiva Chocolatier, which sounds both fancy and French and so, by default, is romantic, yes? See’s Candies are easy to find and have a classic feel. And if you’re feeling adventurous poke around ’til you find an independent shop such as Valenza Chocolatier in Costa Mesa. It might score you points for creativity."
FEBRUARY 2017: 30 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas! by Orange Coast Magazine; 'His' Bourbon Bar
JANUARY 2017: 2017 Good Food Awards recognize American craft chocolate makers, confectioners feature in Candy Industry by Curtis Vreeland; Barolo Bonbon Winner
OCTOBER 2016: WHERE TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY by Surtere Properties; "With an array of mouthwatering, Italian-inspired artisan chocolates, Valenza Chocolatier is highly recommended for those craving sweet treats."
OCTOBER 2016: Celebrate National Chocolate Day the Valenza Way feature on Orange Coast Magazine online by Priscilla Mayfield; "Among National Days of This and That, National Chocolate Day—which happens to be Friday, Oct. 28—has to be right up there, interest-wise. Why not mark the occasion by shopping for fine, handmade, even award-winning chocolates?"
JULY 2016: One of the Five Women Entrepreneurs featured in Locale Magazine's Summer print issue; These 5 OC Wonder Women are Making Strides by Priscilla Ng; "Amy Jo Pedone committed to an inspiring feat. After leaving a fourteen-year long career in the real estate lending industry, she went back to school to Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts to learn the delicate art of chocolate making. She now runs her own small business and creates one-of-a-kind authentic Italian confections that many in the community recognize as the best and purest kind of chocolate."
MARCH 2016: Voted #1 by customers for Who’s Your Favorite Female Difference Maker in Orange County?; poll competed by Locale Magazine totaling 16 Movers and Shakers setting the standard for Entrepreneurs across Orange County.
FEBRUARY 2016: TOP 10 STAFF FAVORITES by Orange Coast Magazine: Nocciole Bar
DECEMBER 2015: The Best Craft Chocolates You've Never Heard Of by Amber Gibson of Departures Magazine; "Inspired by her Italian heritage and childhood memories of making chocolate turtles with her mom, Amy Jo Pedone crafts the best Italian-inflected confections this side of the Atlantic, including Napoleon-era gianduiotti made with Piedmontese hazelnuts and single-origin Venezuelan dark chocolate."
DECEMBER 2015: Locally made confections sugarcoat the season by Jenn Tanaka of Coast Magazine; "Anyone who merely likes chocolate can appreciate her bonbons and Cucidati seasonal truffles, but the true cacao connoisseur will be over the moon for a il Cioccolato Club three-month membership"
OCTOBER 2015: Featured appearance on CBS KCAL 9 at Noon News for National Chocolate Day; CLICK HERE to view entire segment.
OCTOBER 2015: Keep Calm and Eat Chocoalte - Amy Jo Pedone of Valenza Chocolatier Became a Chocolatier After Realizing Life Is Too Short Q&A feature by Fernando A. Funes of Locale Magazine; "Amy Jo Pedone, the owner and master chocolatier, brings passion and determination to her craft. She’s bubbly, confident and radiant; a certain enthusiasm and zest for life resonates from her being, an aura that could only come from someone living out their life’s passion. However, she was not always doing this."
SEPTEMBER 2015: BEST OF OC: Premier chocolatiers worth the effort by Anne Valdespino of the Orange County Register; Valenza Chocolatier is the Register's Pick for 'BEST of OC" Chocolatier; "One of the best milk chocolate bars you'll ever taste is Valenza's luscious rendition studded with whole, roasted hazelnuts and spiked with sea salt."
SEPTEMBER 2015: Love, Luxe, Life Wedding Blog feature on Valenza Chocolatier; "Luxe Tip: Local and destination Brides are always looking for something special to include in their welcome gifts and VALENZA Chocolate bars are the perfect “Made in Orange County” element."
SEPTEMBER 2015: Businesswoman wins top chocolate award by Daily Pilot - Biz News; "Valenza Chocolatier, based in Costa Mesa, won a silver award this spring at the Americas competition of the International Chocolate Awards."
APRIL 2015: Champion Chocolates: O.C. Chocolatiers Honored at Competitions feature by Joshua Suh & Nancy Luna of the Orange County Register; "Valenza Chocolatier, which launched at the Hood Kitchen Space in Costa Mesa was one of only 18 participants ranked at grand master in the competition judged by local chefs and media experts."
FEBRUARY 2015: CHOCOLATE TASTING PARTY? SWEET! feature by Scharde Vallone of OC Register's OC Home Magazine; "In gathering advice about hosting a chocolate tasting, OCHOME consulted local experts to find out. One was chocolatier Amy Jo Pedone, owner of Valenza Chocolatier in Costa Mesa."
FEBRUARY 2015: HAUTE CHOCOLATE Q&A feature by Steve Bramucci of Coast Magazine; "As she ramped up production for Valentine’s Day, Pedone took time to talk about the chocolate - love connection, the inspirational power of Mozart and the joy of Jerry Seinfeld."
FEBRUARY 2015: INSIDER DINING - Our Survey of Local Hospitality Pros Reveals Where They Spend Their Own Time & Money feature by Gretchen Kurz of Orange Coast Magazine
DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015: SIMPLY SWEET feature by Bria Balliet of Newport Beach Magazine; "Amy Jo’s flavor combinations are also part of an ongoing pairing trend popping up on dessert menus around town this season.”
DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015: In The Glow - ENDURING CLASSICS feature by Bask Magazine; "Creative Confections are a holiday season signature, making for a sumptuous time spent with friends and family. This is especially true when said savories are steeped with their own piece of family history, like Valenza Chocolatier's 2014 Holiday Collection."
DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015: The Hood Kitchen and Market in Costa Mesa Slings Local Gourmet Products feature by Where Magazine; "Our favorite? Handcrafted chocolates from Valenza Chocolatier, which pay homage to the Italian heritage of its founder, certified master chocolatier Amy Jo Pedone."; #2 of "30 Things We Love in Orange County"
DECEMBER 2014: The Dish - SWEET SPOT feature by Michaela McNamara of Riviera Magazine; "With visions of bonbons and truffles dancing in our heads, we caught up with Valenza to find out which blissful Italian treats are must-haves this season."
DECEMBER 2014: The Guest Room feature by Sarah Mosqueda of Coast Magazine; "Chances are you'll host out-of-towners this season. Why not make their stay a luxurious one? Five-star amenities make for a five-star stay."
DECEMBER 2014: Gift Guide: A Toast to the Host feature by Orange Coast Magazine; "Show appreciation with a roster of clever gifts curated from some of Orange County’s best stops for holiday giving."
NOVEMBER 2014: Premium Chocolate Trends: Chocolate as culture, as a story feature by Kelsey Ott of Candy Industry; "Most people understand the benefits of organic ingredients and Fair Trade and the lack of preservatives, staples of Valenza’s chocolates, but Pedone wants to spread the message of what it means to use single-origin beans."
AUGUST 2014: Chocolate 101 by Amy Jo Pedone feature by Kelley Moody of Greer's OC; "Thank goodness for Amy Jo Pedone, founder of Valenza Chocolatier, and her fantastic workshop, Chocolate Tasting 101."
AUGUST 2014: OFF THE MENU - Chocolate Workshop feature by Christopher Trela and Catherine Del Casale of the Newport Beach Independent; "The opportunity to try eight different chocolates under the guidance of Amy Jo made me, and my palate, better appreciate the finer nuances of chocolate."
JUNE 2014: Blog feature titled Valenza Chocolatier Masterfully Engages and Educates through "Chocolate Tasting 101" by Minerva Thai of Much Ado About Fooding with Photography by Duc Duong; "If I were to tell you that in a span of less than two hours' time, you would be able to describe the taste and feel of any chocolate in your mouth with the same weighty words as sommeliers use for wine, would you believe me?"
APRIL & MAY 2014: Featured Business on PBS SoCal episode of Discover OC on The Hood Kitchen Space.
FEBRUARY 2014: Featured in 'FAB FIVE SWEET' list of local Chocolatiers for Valentine's Day in February 2014 issue or Riviera Magazine; CLICK HERE to read the feature by Wendy Bowman.
FEBRUARY 2014: Blog feature titled Valenza Chocolatier: Chocolates for Valentine's Day by itsybitsyindulgences.com; "I popped a limoncello in my mouth and couldn’t believe how divine it tasted. I literally had no words to describe it. Not only were the chocolates amazing, but so was the maker."
DECEMBER 2013: Guest radio appearance on KABC-790 Dining with Dills hosted by The 'King of Cuisine' Peter Dills.
DECEMBER 2013: Featured TASTEMAKERS Q&A article in December issue of Orange Coast Magazine; CLICK HERE to read La Dolce Vita by Anne Sterling.
OCTOBER 2013: Featured radio guest on Ric Franzi's Critical Mass for Business on OCTalkRadio.net; learn more about Amy Jo and why she went from a successful Corporate America career to Certified Master Chocolatier Entrepreneur. CLICK HERE to listen to Oct 16th recorded podcast (2nd guest; 30 minutes into radio show).
OCTOBER 2013: Event review of the 7th Annual LA Luxury Chocolate Salon by Dangerous Cupcake Designs; "Valenza is located in Costa Mesa, California, and trust me, they are worth the drive! They are relatively new on the scene but it doesn’t show in their fine chocolate. (I want more of their espresso truffles!)"
SEPTEMBER 2013: Feature article on TastesandTravel.com titled Cuisine's Local Luminaries - Amy Jo Pedone Chocolatier. "Amy Jo is one part Entrepreneur, another part Scientist, and a dash of just plain adorable.”
JULY 2013: Press release by OC Foodies announcing Valenza Chocolatier's 'Bonbons of Gold' as a featured dessert at the 2013 Golden Foodie Awards; titled Golden Foodie Awards Announces the 2013 Golden Sweets
MAY 2013: Launch event review by Priscilla Willis of She's Cookin' titled Hot for Chocolate: Valenza Chocolatier; "Amy Jo is a sweetheart of a person whose ebullient nature and big smile speak to how excited she is at having her passion and hard work realized in Valenza Chocolatier."
MAY 2013: Launch event review by 2013 Golden Foodie Awards 'Best Food Writer" Nominee Minerva Thai of Much Ado About Fooding titled Valenza Chocolatier Launch Party with Photography by Duc Duong. "We started with the bonbons: Espresso, Limoncello, and Spumoni. Hands down, our favorite of these three was the Espresso for its rich espresso taste, dark but well-matched chocolate, gritty (in a good way) ground Illy Italian gourmet espresso, and overall silky ganache."
MAY 2013: Blog article by Costa Mesa Conference & Visitors Bureau titled Valenza Chocolatier Tasting in Costa Mesa. "Pedone’s story is an inspiration. Like so many, a personal hardship served as the conduit for a change in her life. Fortunately for everyone else, her change just happened to be of the sumptuous, chocolatey variety. For Pedone, the chocolates are more than just a delectable treat, they are proof that’s it’s never too late to find your passion in life."
MAY 2013: Launch event review by OC Weekly's Anne Marie Panoringan of Stick a Fork In It titled Valenza Chocolatier Making Things Sweater In Costa Mesa . "Valenza's Bourbon bar possessed an effortless, melt-in-your-mouth quality. A treat this potent begged for live jazz and a cigar."
MAY 2013: Front page photo of the Daily Pilot for article titled Area chefs get kneaded kitchen space.