CHICAGO (CBS) — Talk about a career change, Heather Johnston says she made quite a leap from medicine to chocolates.

“I was a practicing pediatrician,” she said. “I took a class at the French pastry school in chocolate-making. I loved it. And then, many years later, I left medicine for other reasons. That lasted about two weeks until I got bored silly and started making chocolate again.”

In 2012, she opened Veruca Chocolates at her shop and kitchen at 2409 N. Western Avenue on the border between Wicker Park and Logan Square.

“We have a whole line now of goods from solid chocolates to caramels to filled chocolates which are called bon-bons. Everything that we make is kosher. We have a lot of wholesale business across the country. We also do online retail where we ship all over the country every day.”


Her gourmet chocolates appeal not only to the tongue but also to the eye.

“We use a lot of edgy colors, either metallic or very bright colors. I just like how they look against our dark chocolate. We use mainly dark chocolate here.”

The origin of her company’s name?

“It comes from the character in Willy Wonka, Veruca Salt. The concept behind the company is that I imagined her as a grown-up Veruca Salt who has lost a little bit of her edginess but, is a woman who knows what she wants.”

You can find out more about Veruca Chocolates on their website, http://www.verucachocolates.com.