An Interview with Katherine Donovan – Chocolate Painter

We had been following Katherine Donovan on Instagram for a while and finally decided to try to connect and feature her and her amazing chocolate artwork! She uses a cocoa butter base to paint with so everything is edible. Read on to find out more about her background and her work!

First off, tell us about your business, what it is / what you do! 

 I create mouthwatering chocolate art that looks like an oil painting…. but is in fact completely edible.

What is the story behind your business? How did it all come to be? 

 I’m a realist painter that serendipitously stumbled into the world of chocolate after graduating college. I started working at a chocolate shop and saw the uses of the chocolate mediums and tried my hand at painting some chocolate bonbons and bars for the shop. I loved it so much and thought – “How could I make this into a career?”.

What is your background, how did you meet your business partner(s), did you always want to be doing this? 

 I met Samantha Brown while working at a chocolate shop in Manchester. She was the Chocolatier there and I learned everything I could from her while we worked together. After she left to start her own chocolate shop she asked me to come work with her and her business partner, Tom, to create any kind of chocolate works I wanted and gave me a place to display my work in the shop.

I went to school for art, after graduating I started looking for jobs in NH that would allow me to be creative and support my art. 

Favorite things to create? 


 What are your sources of inspiration and creativity? 

 I love to look at some of the great works like Van Gogh, Edmund Tarbell, Monet, and getting to paint them in chocolate is an exciting challenge. It always helps me when I am trying to thing of ideas for my own paintings. I am very much in love with the Impressionist period, but I also enjoy Realism.

What do you do when you feel you are in a rut?

 I’m still working on that myself. Honestly, the thing I do is to just try and draw once a day. Even if it sucks, at least I made something.
What has been the most challenging part about having your business?

What has been the most rewarding or fun?

 Finding time to work. I also work a full time job, and finding days to go into the chocolate shop and create can be difficult.

Are you originally from New England? How has the New England community played a roll in your business?

 I great up on the border of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. New Hampshire is my home now and I love living here and having access to the mountains, ocean, and city all within 1 hour from where I live.

What do you think is unique about your business or craft?

 I can honestly say that I have never seen someone who makes chocolate art like I do. I’ve seen cookie art and cake art, but not chocolate. That’s what makes it so exciting to people. It is a unique art form for sure.

What other local businesses do you love that we should know about?

La Cascade Du Chocolate, in Exeter is the business I partner with that gives me a space to do what I love to do. Nomad Bakery in Derry. Without the owner, Cheryl, I would have never thought to apply to that chocolate shop.

What does the future look like for your small business? Any grand plans?

My edible art to hopefully be found all over New England.

I would love to eventually have my own space to create and sell my work.

Where can we find you or your product in the future?

You can always find my work at La Cascade du Chocolate 101 Water Street, Exeter, NH.

I’m working on showing my chocolate paintings in a gallery setting and just had my first successful show this last March. Hoping to find more galleries in New England that are open to displaying edible art.

You can find and follow Katherine on her website or on Instagram.

Tell New England

t.e.l.l. New England is a quarterly digital publication consistently delivering unique stories from New England by New Englanders. Stories by co-founders Jennifer Bakos and Ashley Herrin.

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