Mama Ganache: a retrospective

It’s only eight months since we passed Mama Ganache on to Ben Taylor and his family. In some ways that feels like an eternity; in others, the blink of an eye. It was harder than I expected to review my pictures from all those years. Assembling them for this blog brings a lump to my throat, an ache in my heart, and even some tears.

Mama Ganache began her life in the basement of the Vets Hall in San Luis. We rented the kitchen there on Sunday afternoons to create some ridiculously labor-intensive, ridiculously delicious chocolate bars: layers of chocolate, crispy rice and peanut butter. Tom sold them at local churches to fund his fledgling NGO, Project Hope and Fairness.

When his sister Joanne opened Splash Cafe in San Luis, our newly named Sweet Earth Chocolates were made in the second floor kitchen.

Our chocolate at Splash in 2006
Our first truffle collection

In 2009, we moved down the street to 1445 Monterey.

Our chocolates grew more and more beautiful and delicious, especially when Rebecca Wamsley came to work for us.

We held art shows, wine tastings and parties.

In 2012, we changed our name to Mama Ganache.

Valentine’s Day was always fun.

As was Easter:


And Christmas:

In 2013, we started to make our own chocolate from beans sourced from around the world.

Truffle critters were always popular.

We gave tours, hosted birthday parties and meetings, and raffled off huge bunnies and turkeys.

Our artists were amazing.

As was their art.

And our customers.

Tom and I will be forever grateful to all the incredible people who worked for us over the years. Apologies to those of you – and there are many – who aren’t included here because I don’t have pictures of you.

Larry, Tom, and Josefina

Tom and I (and Joanne) had Mama Ganache for thirteen years. I went through close to 6000 pictures to choose these, and the ones I picked in the end don’t cover a fraction of the love, life, and laughter that we shared in those years.

And none of it would have happened without Tom.

19 thoughts on “Mama Ganache: a retrospective

  1. Wow!!! that’s all I can say, except one thing – my friends and family in the U.K. miss the chocolates that I always brought them from YOUR shop in SLO. Love, Lynne

  2. So many fun times with chocolates from Mama at our Solstice Sisters celebrations…..Thank you Eve (and Tom of course)…
    Kathy bornino

  3. It was great to be able to participate in your creative Chocolate, Wine, and Art displays during the last few months you were here! You two are so amazing, really LIVING out your adventures. I know you mentioned a place near your home that was about chocolate… Has Tom wanted to get back into any of that or do you have other adventures planned or just spontaneously thought up? haha. Missing being around you and being influenced by your sparks of inspiration.

    The best to you and Tom, Lin

    • Tom is still working on his Africa project but ignorer to get long-term visas we had to promise the French government we wouldn’t earn money here, so we’re both trying out being retired. Sorry we missed you in SLO last month. We’ll be back again next year for a month or so.

  4. What a delightful blog. I’m here at an event in Dallas with tears streaming down my face. I love you guys so much. You contribute so much to the world around you.
    Love, Carol

  5. My Dearest Eve
    I loved working with Tom and you at Mama Ganache. He was always able to give me, who knows nothing about making chocolate, something to do. Of all the things that I did all the times (and there were a lot!) Judy and I visited you and Tom, doing that work was probably the most satisfying thing I ever did. It gave me something productive and creative to do, was a great anchor for the visits. It can’t have been true, but Tom actually told me once that I was the best worker he ever had. Really. When we visit you and Tom in France, the top on our bucket list, I hope there is something as satisfying to do to help you out. It was the least I could do in gratitude for all your friendship and generosity. You’re the tops, the Mona Lisa.

  6. Hi Eve
    I will be coming through the South of France in mid May. If you and Tom are around, I would love to come visit. My daughter Erinn will be turning 25 and would love to come to Cordes.
    It would be wonderful to see you again.

    • Hello Shelley,
      We’d love to see you! I’m sorry I can’t offer you a bed though. Our 19-year old grandson will be here then taking up the only sort-of private extra bed. He’ll be around for three months, so that won’t stop us from having other plans during the time.

      Our friend Dominique has a beautiful space for rent for about $50-60/night: bedroom. living room, kitchen, bath. It’s almost next door. She rents it through under the name Rue du Barri. If that isn’t available, there are lots of places on airbnb for around that price. Our daughter and son-in-law found a whole apartment for $45 in easy walking distance. There’s a really lovely place called Le Secret du Chat on our street that we stayed in before we bought the house. It’s a little more expensive but worth it.
      May is a beautiful time to come and there’s lots to see. You don’t need a car, though if you have one, we’ll do some exploring further afield with you, maybe go wine-tasting or to Rochefort, since we don’t have one ourselves and haven’t yet done those things.
      I’m very much looking forward to seeing you again. I felt like we’d just begun at Keith’s!
      warm regards,

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