Robbin Everson (B.S. ’75) and her business partner, Panos Panagos, thought they had a pretty good idea for a business when they opened Alegio Chocolaté in Berkeley, California, in 2006. But it exceeded all expectations. Rave reviews and a steady stream of customers prompted the opening of a second location in Palo Alto in 2013. In February, Everson hosted a tasting at the Palo Alto store for the Bay Area Chapter of the Alumni Association, of which she is a member. “Panos always says, ‘People from Minnesota are so nice and polite.’ I always tell him, ‘I told you we have a culture all our own.’”
The quality of the chocolate is the key to Alegio’s success. “It tastes like chocolate did 100 years ago before so many things were added to it,” Everson says, explaining how they’ve partnered with chocolatier Claudio Corallo, who makes the shop’s truffles and chocolate bars from cacao beans he produces on organic farms in Africa.