St. John couple share sweet passion as chocolatiers

Three words, “crazy about chocolate,” on a profile was what ultimately linked Ben Hauser and Jenny Weber as business partners and spouses.

When responding to Miss Weber’s profile, Mr. Hauser had written “I love how much you love chocolate,” indicating his future wife’s chocoholic tendencies.

Cupid handled the rest of this sweet story.

Growing up in a chocolate family as the son of a native Swiss chocolatier, Mr. Hauser made a “someday” goal to become one himself.

“And I grew up baking,” said the now Mrs. Hauser, an alumna of Maryvale Preparatory School, Brooklandville. “I wanted to open a bakery.”

Five years ago, her husband persuaded her instead to establish Glarus Chocolatier, named after the Swiss town where his father was born and relatives still live.

To the day a year after their first date and six months before their nuptials, the couple’s Timonium store opened its door in 2004 and they were official chocolatiers, sporting chef jackets and hair nets.

Now Jenny Hauser has access to all the chocolate she wants – after she makes it, of course.

Behind the retail front of Glarus (with a second store in Baltimore) is a machine-less production area where the couple’s 15-hour, seven-day operation has them combining cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, soy lecithin and vanilla that forms into quality traditional Swiss chocolate, using cocoa beans from Venezuela and Ecuador and processed in Switzerland.

“Everything we make you’d find in Switzerland,” said Mrs. Hauser, 31, of their “back to basics” approach, producing chocolates without the use of preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients.

Truffles, assorted chocolates, barks, dipped fruits, chocolate bars and sauce, and chocolate-covered items (like espresso beans) decorate the glass cases of Glarus and are carefully tucked into simple brown packaging when products are mailed through online ordering.

Chocolate making is not something everyone can do, said the parishioners of St. John the Evangelist, Hydes.

“It involves a lot of chemistry,” said Mr. Hauser, 36, who brings the candy-making experience to the Glarus table after years spent “doing everything” in his father’s chocolate factory in Westerly, R.I., which “is truly Willie Wonka,” added his petite wife.

Chocolate is all about freshness, said the Loyola College in Maryland graduates who are expecting their first child in June. As bakery items are expected to go stale within a few days after purchase, so can chocolate. Glarus advises customers to consume their products 7-10 days after purchase.

“You shouldn’t be able to buy chocolate from a department store,” said Mrs. Hauser, to which her husband added, “If chocolate is sitting there for months at a time – something’s not right.”


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.