Robin Autorino, owner of Robin Chocolates in Longmont, Colorado, wanted to create a special confection collection to honor her mother who recently passed away in her eighties. Having been an Ironman triathlete, nurse practitioner, geriatric nurse, and mother of four, Ethel Autorino was Robin’s lifelong inspiration, supporter, and best friend.
The result was My Mother’s Garden, an assortment of either six or 12 of her mother’s favorite chocolates combined into a Mother’s Day special package. Included are passion fruit honey, symbolic of Hawaii, the home of the Ironman (in which Ethel is still the holder of the 70-74 age group record); rose caramel, the rose being Ethel’s favorite flower to grow in the garden; blackberry sage, a unique combination wrapped in chocolate in which Ethel delighted; and red wine peach, a nod to both the fruit and wine that Ethel enjoyed.
Robin’s career started with her military service in the U.S. Navy followed by a stint in the IT industry, but she was always interested in confections. Early on, Robin began giving presents of chocolate-dipped pretzels and caramels to friends and relatives since her son was young. After attending culinary school, she decided on an internship at a pâtisserie in France, which started her love affair with pastries and chocolate and eventually led to a role as a pastry cook at the famous Brown Palace in Denver, When this resulted in an order of 12 boxes of her creations, she was convinced her to quit her job and become a full-time chocolatier.
In 2011, Robin opened Robin Chocolates in southwest Longmont’s Meadow View Village Center. Since then, she has enjoyed continued success in what can be a very challenging culinary space. So what distinguishes Robin Chocolates from the competition? First, Robin primarily sources from Valrhona of France, a high-quality chocolate company. The unique flavor combinations also set Robin Chocolates apart from other chocolatiers. “I use flavors from what I like,” she says — she combines flavors from plants, spices, and other ingredients like Tahitian vanilla, Colorado honey, and a local coffee liqueur from Lyons, Colorado.
The results are vibrant flavor sensations that earned Robin a spot in the pages of O Magazine and the distinction of being named one of the Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine in 2013.
Robin’s top selling confections include chocolate caramel fleur de sel, caramel layered with chocolate caramel and sea salt in a dark chocolate shell; dulce blonde, with dulce de leche liqueur and caramelized white chocolate ganache in a dark shell; and Longs Peak, a Colorado favorite with a trio of Tahitian vanilla bean and milk and dark chocolate ganaches in a white and dark chocolate shell.
Robin Chocolates can be ordered online. My Mother’s Garden is available in a six-piece ($15) or 12-piece ($28.75) set. (Prices do not include shipping.)
FTC Disclosure : This was a sponsored visit, however, all opinions herein are the author’s.