Cheri Ellefson, womens and genders studies instructor, and Morgan Roddy got married in 2015 and opened Queer Chocolatier in 2017. The business stands in solidarity with the queer and trans community. Reagan Allen, DN
Muncie Origins: Queer Chocolatier welcomes conversation
Editor's note: Muncie Origins is a Ball State Daily News series profiling various businesses that originated in Muncie.
The owners of a local online chocolate shop, Queer Chocolatier, said that the business’s name is just as important as their product.
In August, Ball State alumni Morgan Roddy and Cheri Ellefson opened a web-only chocolate shop, which sells only truffles. Now, they are working on opening a store and expanding upon what they sell.
When former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed revisions to the state's Religious Freedom Act in 2015, some conflict between business owners and the LGBTQ community began.
Queer Chocolatier, however, is about being transparent and unapologetic. They are not hiding who they are in fear of losing business. Instead, they embrace who they are and how important it is in their lives.
Their name may seem controversial to some, but Roddy and Ellefson do not expect issues related to their name, they just desire to “stand for something.” Roddy also said that the name fits well because it describes her.
“I am a queer, married ciswoman and I'm going to make you delicious chocolates,” Roddy said.
Roddy’s passion for making truffles began several years ago after reading the recipe on a chocolate chip bag a roommate was using to make cookies. After years of giving baked goods away to coworkers and various friends and family, Ellefson suggested they start their own business.
The biggest struggle faced in opening their own business had nothing to do with discrimination. The struggle was not having all the experience necessary.
Roddy and Ellefson both graduated from Ball State University with master’s degrees in sociology. Ellefson currently teaches online courses in women’s and gender studies at the university.
Roddy believes that if you are good at something, you should keep doing it, which is why she is always working to expand the menu with new truffle flavors. Roddy combines her passion for cooking with Ellefson’s travels around the world to come up with creative flavors.
Currently, Queer Chocolatier sells seven different flavors of truffles, ranging from a classic truffle to the newest flavor, peanut butter and jelly. The truffles can be made with classic ingredients, but are also offered in vegan.
Some flavors are seasonal and rotated, and newsletter subscribers have access to secret flavors.
The chocolate isn’t the only thing attracting business, however. The name Queer Chocolatier has invited people to share their stories and ask any questions they may have.
Roddy said that the chocolate may be the invitation, but the name is what has brought so much conversation. While some have simply come up to discuss a family member coming out and others have thanked them for the “cool concept,” Roddy and Ellefson said they are just excited to be an active part of the community.
To further reach out to the community, the couple will be expanding their business by opening a storefront that also sells home decor items geared toward the LGBTQ community.