Vosges Haut Chocolat owner Katrina Markoff, who scours the globe for the exotic chiles and berries that flavor her pricey, decadent truffles, is launching a not-so-haute brand of chocolates.
The Chicago entrepreneur, who opened her first shop 13 years ago in her 20s, was at the Sweets and Snacks Expo at McCormick Place Tuesday showing off her Americana-accented Wild Ophelia line of chocolate bars that she says is aimed at "drug stores to truck stops to big-box."
In fact, the Wild Ophelia bars -- which will cost anywhere from $2.97 to $4.99, depending on the retailer -- won't even be sold in Vosges stores.
Vosges truffles are laced with ingredients like Krug champagne, aged Italian balsamic vinegar and black Hawaiian sea salt.
Wild Ophelia bars, by contrast, contain dried cherries from Michigan, chunks of Georgia peaches and beef jerky from Wyoming. Yes, kids, there is a beef jerky chocolate bar.
"A lot of times when you see 'Americana,' it's more kitsch," Markoff said. "We wanted this to feel hand-done . . . but fun, fashionable."
The bars are packaged in recycled paperboard. There are five flavors in the line: Beef Jerky, Hickory Smoked Almond, New Orleans Chili, Southern Hibiscus Peach and Sweet Cherry Pecan.
Check out the chocolates here.