Chocolate Evolution

For love and truffles

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Christy and Shannon Fox first met when they were both living in southern California. When asked what their initial attraction was, both pause for only a brief moment before answering “food.”

“I had been hosting a brunch gathering once a month,” Shannon says.  “It was a different theme each month—I think that month it was Italian. Christy was the first person there, and she brought a salad. It was an amazing salad. Immediately, it was like falling in love.”

“The feeling was mutual,” Christy says. “I told my sister I’d met the most amazing woman, but she was leaving town. My sister said ‘If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.’”

Apparently, a relationship was in the cards for the two women, and not long after Shannon departed California to start a farm on a few dozen acres in Whatcom County, Christy followed. Last summer, they were married in Bellingham at the Chrysalis Inn. To nobody’s surprise, Christy made the wedding cake.

Although both have spent a significant amount of time in the food industry—Christy has been a professional chef on and off for many of her 40 years, and Shannon, 47, has also put in many years at various food-related endeavors—neither were up for the daily rigors of opening a restaurant.

Instead, they decided they’d augment their dream of transforming their acreage into a community hub—a place where they hope to someday soon welcome others to the farm for workshops on everything from cooking courses to cob oven-building—with a small business making hand-rolled, hand-dipped truffles.

Evolve truffles was born from the talents of the years Christy and Shannon have labored in various kitchens in their lives, but after spending any amount of time with the couple—and tasting the complex, mouthwatering creations they produce in their 250-square-foot kitchen on Ohio Street—it soon becomes clear that most important ingredient in their arsenal is love.

Along with their obvious affection for one another, the duo have made it a point to spread their happiness to others. Along with sourcing nearly all of their ingredients from local purveyors, they regularly donate truffles to various charities and events, and believe that community collaboration is the key to their further success.

“One of our goals is to stay transparent and keep true to who we are,” Shannon says. “It’s working; things are happening in a serendipitous way. Our little business has grown to a medium business, and might just be a big business someday.”

For now, though, it’s mostly just Christy and Shannon laboring away in their small kitchen with occasional part-time help. 

And, since February is a month when many people turn to chocolate to show their love, the Fox family has ramped up their production schedule to ensure that everybody who needs one—or a dozen—of their bite-sized wonders has access to one.

“In January, we made about 700-800 truffles,” Christy says. “It was a slow month. This month, we’ll probably end up making about 3,000.”

Some of those thousands of truffles can be found on the counters of Evolve’s wholesale distributors, such as the Community Food Co-op, and Christy and Shannon will also be on hand for a Valentine’s Day Celebration Feb. 14-15 at Blaine’s Dakota Creek Winery.

Joining the 24 flavors they’ve already created—which include everything from an “I Love Bacon” truffle with no-nitrate candied bacon, organic cream, dark chocolate and ground vanilla beans to “Mint Meditation,” “Jolokia,” “German Twist” and more—they worked with the local purveyor of “Chia Girl” fruit spread to make a Valentine’s Day-inspired truffle. The ingredients include 85 percent Theo cacao, Chia Girl strawberry fruit spread, chardonnay sparkling wine, Twin Brook cream and sugar. Oh, and there are roasted chia seeds and dried strawberries on top.

Be warned: the taste of the “Chia Chia Bang Bang” truffles may cause those who want to give them as gifts to their sweethearts to keep them for themselves. They’re rich and sweet without being overpowering, and may ruin your tastebuds for other, lesser truffles.

“They’re fun and flirty and bite-y and spicy,” Christy says. “They’re just like Valentine’s Day—we’re just trying to translate that to chocolate.”

SVCR-0603 Buffet_ 770x150 CW
More Food...
Eat Local Month
A gold medal standard

If eating local were an Olympic sport, Whatcom County would likely be in the running for a gold medal.

In fact, every September we enter an intense training period known as Eat Local Month. Competitors join Sustainable Connections to celebrate the bounty that comes from the area’s…

more »
Firehall Cafe
Of appetites and art

Lynden is bustling these days, and there are no shortage of great places for a light lunch. One often-overlooked eatery on the city’s Front Street is the Firehall Cafe, located in the Jansen Art Center.

The bright, open-plan, 30-seat restaurant opened in 2012 with the debut of the center,…

more »
Small Potatoes
The spuds of summer

Potatoes are often considered a fall crop, to be hoarded in the root cellar through the winter, roasted with other roots and perhaps a sprig of rosemary and served alongside other hearty fare. But summer? Now is the time for spinach and lettuce, for peas, herbs, summer squash and all the…

more »
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Music Enrichment Project Meet and Greet

4:00pm|Piper Music

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Get Out More Tour

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library


9:30pm|Green Frog

Swinomish 2016 Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Hiking Basics


Final History Sunset Cruise

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Final BIFT

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Amnesty International Meeting

7:00pm|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Wednesday Market

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Lynden Book Club

12:30pm|Lynden Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Brewers Cruise

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

The Gun Show

8:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

see our complete calendar »

Andrew Subin Northwood Steak and Crab Village Books Swinomish 2016 Bellingham Farmer’s Market Artifacts Wine Bar Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1