Full-circle journeys always make happy stories, but here at Peterbrooke Chocolatier we think this one kind of takes the cake….er, the chocolate.
Brooke Joyner owns the Atlantic Beach Peterbrooke shop. Not only is she a high performing and successful franchisee, she is THE “brooke” of Peterbrooke Chocolatier. Her mom, Phyllis, founded the company in 1983 and was responsible for the popular, high-end, Jacksonville-based chocolatier expanding to nine locations by 2006. Phyllis sold her business interests in Peterbrooke in 2009 at which point Brooke, who already owned a portion of the Atlantic Beach shop, took on full ownership of that Florida location.
But before all this, Brooke traveled the country. She bootstrapped her own laundry business in California, honing business and entrepreneurial skills at an early age, before making that full circle journey back home to the world of chocolate.
“Mom always said some people have blood in their veins but we have chocolate,” Brooke smiled. “When friends would come over, they’d say my closet smells like chocolate…not a bad thing, if you ask me.”
“Growing up with chocolate was super fun and, not only did I enjoy it, it became a passion of mine. But first I had to explore for myself.”
Brooke wasn’t even 20 yet when she made the cross-country trek to California, arriving on the opposite coast without a dime to her name, according to her.
“My family was supportive of me, but they also were not going to get involved financially. This gave me the motivation to start my own business,” Brooke said. “It helps in the long run to go out on your own, fall and get back up.”
She stumbled into the vicinity of the University of Southern California, specifically finding an apartment perpendicular to fraternity row. Brooke quickly realized that the USC students were wealthy and she quickly innovated a laundry business for the collegiate population.
“For $200-$300 a pop it really worked out. I was in a bit of a pinch and failure wasn’t an option,” she said.
She worked this profitable laundry delivery business for three years, gaining many solid business strategies through trial, error and plain old hard work. Ultimately, with that type of industry, there were certain regulations that prevented her from scaling the business. So she ultimately course-corrected and tried her hand at real estate.
During her California days, Brooke realized the value of working at something you love. She realized that she loved and missed chocolate and her family. So back she came to the Jacksonville area to the family business.
“Experience for me is something you can’t buy or take away from someone,” she said.
At the Atlantic Beach store, Brooke now especially loves the creativity inspired by being a high-end chocolatier. She revels in both kid camps and private adult events like martini parties, and says Peterbrooke’s signature blend of chocolate allows her to create generally an unlimited number of different shapes, molds and dip-able items. She loves the challenge of creating chocolate logos, unique designs and dipping wine bottles for special occasions. She’s even created chocolate shoes for clients.
“What I love about Peterbrooke overall is the quality of the product and the passion shared by everyone who works with me. Our chocolate is a reflection and a form of love…kind of a language of love through your taste buds.”
Brooke calls the Peterbrooke Atlantic Beach shop “her baby.” But she and her husband Seth, who is a residential contractor and co-owner, make sure to carve out time to spend with their two border terriers, riding bikes and spending time at the beach.
“It’s a good, positive feeling here and a great place to call home,” Brooke said.
For more information about becoming a Peterbrooke Chocolatier franchisee and experiencing a similarly positive lifestyle as Brooke Joyner enjoys, please visit peterbrookefranchising.com. Today the brand has more than 20 locations throughout the Southeast, including Florida, Alabama and Georgia and focuses on high-quality, delicious and beautiful chocolate creations that are perfect for personal or corporate gifts, custom baskets, private parties, and more. Peterbrooke franchise owner candidates are required to have a minimum of $75,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $300,000.