C hoco-preneurs Tim Dugan (left)
and Scott Wayne are up to their
necks in coined confections.
COSTCO EXECUTIVE MEMBERS Scott Wayne and Tim Dugan
might not have imagined they would one day be in the business of
But as partners in a Texas-based business called Images in
Chocolate ( www.gocandy.com), that’s exactly what they do, producing
chocolate coins, as well as chocolate poker chips, business cards and
much more for corporate and personal occasions.
Dugan started making the products as a hobby with his father, for
friends and co-workers. That changed in 1994, when he recognized a
strong business opportunity and Images in Chocolate was born.
“We were one of the first Internet-based chocolate companies in
1994,” says Wayne, who joined the company in 1999.
Employing anywhere between 10 and 25 people, and averaging 22
percent growth per year for the past five years, Images in Chocolate
counts 88 Fortune 500 companies among its clientele but is equally at
home filling personal orders. Wayne says, “We pride ourselves on being
able to change and adapt quickly. We can be working with Hilton properties, filling an order for thousands, then on the next call someone is
needing something for a 150-person wedding.”
Their motto is “If you can imagine it, we can create it.” They have
WHILE LIVING IN ITALY in 1999, in Connecticut. “If you can get
Costco member Laura Morelli something that’s authentic and of
wanted bookshelves built. When quality and you can meet the per-the three-generation team showed son, it gives the item more mean-up, they pulled out raw lumber and ing.”—Stephanie E. Ponder
hand tools, turning her front yard
into an artisan studio.
“I started seeing that kind of
craftsmanship everywhere,” says
Morelli, who holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale.
She decided to help other people uncover and appreciate handcrafted goods on their travels. Her
books, Made in Italy, Made in the
Southwest and Made in France, and
her Web site ( www.lauramorelli.
com) offer advice on how to prepare to shop and how to pack one’s
purchases, as well as tips on determining authenticity and how much
to pay for something.
“Everyone wants to bring home Laura Morelli
a souvenir,” says Morelli, who lives
80 The Costco Connection FEBRUARY 2008
produced chocolates in the form of three-dimensional toy tops, the
Eiffel Tower and even red chocolate plungers for a plumbing company.
Wayne adds, “We’ve made some items for bachelor and bachelorette
parties we probably shouldn’t describe in the magazine.”—Steve Fisher
Soup Ladies to the rescue!
COSTCO MEMBER GINGER SENECAL PASSARELLI spends
most days as a homemaker, mother and proprietor of Mama
Passarelli’s ( www.mamapassarelli.com), a family-style restaurant
in Black Diamond, Washington. But when an emergency strikes,
she jumps into action as one of the Soup Ladies ( www.soup
ladies.org), a group of volunteers who whip up soup and other
dishes to help feed the emergency workers and the people
affected by those emergencies.
The Soup Ladies—Passarelli plus Diane Tate and Laura
Russell (also Costco members)—have been called into action
for homicide investigations, fires, windstorms and even the
crash of a Blackhawk helicopter, when they served not just
local search-and-rescue teams but also the military for two
weeks. While most of their efforts are confined to King County,
Washington, they have traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi
to assist aid workers and victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Passarelli has enlisted 14 volunteers to assist. She hopes
more Soup Ladies chapters will form in other communities, and
she dreams of get-
ting a new truck and Ginger “Mama” Passar elli (fourth
a mobile kitchen so from left) and her “soup crew”
they can cook on-site. for the California wildfires.
It’s a lot of work,
but she’s clear about
why she does it: “I
really love my community. I’m just a
regular person, but I
think I’m making a
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