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“Chocolate Innovations is not a company looking to take up a portion of the industry, it is a company looking to lead the industry and be a trend setter in quality and customer service.”
In 2008, Robert Russo decided he wanted to start his own business selling by chocolate-covered strawberries. He continued to sell these delicious treats when he became a student at Nichols College. Russo says that he selected Nichols because he had aspirations of owning his own business someday. “I knew I wanted to own a business, and I felt that Nichols could help me do that and succeed,” he says.
“My entire business, Chocolate Innovations, has been built through all I have learned at Nichols, from writing a business plan, to social media to networking. Over my four years at Nichols, I have always tried to use my business as an example in class or for a project so I could get the assignment done but also work on my business at the same time.”
Within the General Business Program, Russo selected his three areas of concentration, Economics, Management and Human Resource Management, with the goal of broadening his skills. “I choose ECON so I could understand what was happening in the markets and how that will affect my business. Then I chose MGMT because obviously at some point I will have to know how motivate future employees,” he says. “Finally I selected HRM so if I do hire people, I will know the proper hiring process and work place etiquette.”
As an artist, Russo has a passion for making chocolate products not just for the taste but for the beauty as well. After creating 110 chocolate roses for his cousin’s wedding, Russo says, “I never expected people to ask me, ‘can we eat these?’ It must have meant that I was creating a product so beautiful that it was not worth destroying by eating it. That was a satisfying moment for me.” He adds, “I have found the most success when I create a product just for the pure enjoyment of doing so. I enjoy seeing the customer’s face when I unveil my creation.”
Russo has been accepted into Nichols 4+1 MBA program and will begin classes full time in the fall of 2012.