Marguerite McClay and her husband Andy Fraser moved to Los Alamos more than 11 years ago when he accepted a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
“I have always been drawn to the Southwest. Traveling through here in my youth I fell in love with the whole area – the dry desert, the colors, it all stuck with me and I jumped at the opportunity when it arose,” McClay said.
She started in the chocolate business in 2010, sharing kitchen space with various commercial kitchens in town. She set up temporary selling tables at other businesses and fairs, usually one day sales, but it was enough to keep her going, she said, adding that places that supported her selling days included The Decadent Table, Stewart Title, The Art Center, and of course, she sold candy barks at the Los Alamos Co+op.
“The greatest thing about working in chocolate is it makes people happy. Almost everyone coming into the shop is happy to be there. They know they are going to taste something rich and wonderful,” she said.
McClay’s Rose Chocolatier at 991 Central Ave., has grown to include three part-time employees and she hopes to have another part-timer soon. James Beavers approached McClay before the store opened and wanted her to hire him. She told him to come back in three weeks. He did and has been with her ever since. He is a great asset to her business and a very dependable employee, she said.
“My business is mainly about chocolate but there are other aspects to my little shop. I like supporting the arts and we have a long wall perfect for local art work to display,” she said. “We change up the art to mostly co-inside with The Fuller Lodge Art Center shows and have opening nights for the artist to talk about their work. It is a wonderful venue for bringing people together … enjoying chocolate and art.”
McClay said she is always working on new goodies in her “test kitchen” and invites the community to stop in frequently because she always needs tasters to give her feedback on what’s cooking!