In 2009, Will Ralston began his journey as a chocolatier when he took over a fledgling chocolate business in Melbourne, FL. Over the course of the 6 years that he was there, he strongly developed the business by overseeing the addition of a second location and greatly developing the wholesale portion of the business. A background in the culinary field gave him an innate ability to develop delicious and innovative chocolate products.
During those years, Will and his wife, Celeste, vacationed many times in the Hendersonville area with their children, and absolutely fell in love with the beautiful landscape and friendly people. When the opportunity arose to buy Van’s Chocolates from Peg Vanderlois and her children in 2014, they quickly jumped at the chance.
Van’s Chocolates began in 1968 as a small family business, and has prospered and grown over the years into a Hendersonville tradition. The focus has always been on high end, hand-made chocolates, and that is how it will stay. Will plans on keeping the high level of quality that the Vanderlois established and will not change any of the time-tested recipes. New and exciting products are being added to the lineup, but the original treats will always remain.
Looking to the future, the Ralstons plan to expand the business further into the community and hope to open a second location within the next couple of years. Van’s has been the best kept secret in town for too long, and the Ralstons believe that it’s time for that to change. Come in to the Van’s retail store to try their full line of truffles, creams, barks, and confections of all kinds, or look for their products in a growing number of retail locations around town.