La Châtelaine Chocolat is a Frenchy artisan chocolaterie based in the rugged Rocky Mountains of Montana. A Frenchman (and his American wife) created La Châtelaine after longing for the delectable chocolates from childhood. Our main shop is located at 1516 W. Main and our auxiliary store, “La Petite” is located in the Baxter Hotel Downtown Bozeman. La Châtelaine’s tasteful packaging and premium chocolates are as lovely to look at as they are to eat and will make you feel (if only a moment) like you’ve taken a trip to France.
Shannon Hughes Grochowski trekked out west at the age of 19. After graduating from Montana State University, she found work as a writer, editor, and researcher. However, she could never quite shake what she calls her Julia Child impulse. So, she did what Julia did. She began spending most of her spare time in her tiny kitchen and learning. Later, a trip to belle France confirmed that culinary impulse. It was the tiny patisseries and chocolateries that captured her heart not necessarily la Tour Eiffel. She followed Julias ghost footsteps around the city, open to new tastes and gastronomic pleasures without forgetting her savory southern cooking. Now, after years of honing her craft, she delights in creating beautiful chocolates with the finest ingredients in her small atelier in the Rockies.
Wlady Grochowski began his culinary experimentations in Paris as a yound child. He was constantly asking his Maman to lick the bowl after sweet concoctions -primarly with chocolate- were made until she began to let him bake something with help. When Wlady turned 10, he received from his Maman a Livre de Cuisine. The cook book was advanced, and for his first attempt at a recipe, he of course picked a chocolate cake! Trying this while his Mom was at work, and wanting to double de recipe led to a fiasco! Chocolate has always been the dominant factor to his baking, largely influenced by being exposed to his Grand-Mère from the Vosges in the East of France. She made a Chocolate Marquise and a to \"die for\" flourless chocolate cake. The cake was a more than a weekly thing while spending entire summers in the Vosges. Wlady studied management at the Sorbonne, and attempted a career in auto racing. Upon moving to the United States in 1993 in his late twenties, Wlady started selling french traditional cakes through word of mouth. His early frustrations in finding good chocolate led him to a quest to contact professional sources for French chocolates, and other great European chocolates. His insatiable passion for great chocolate is forever a pursuit.
The passion for chocolate and combined experiences were catalyst to the start of the chocolaterie. For Shannon and Wlady, it was the long time dream becoming a reality, it seemed so logical and so right. The two owners have trained in San Francisco and Paris. They also make pilgrimages to France each summer to expand their culinary repertoire.