Katrina Markoff, President/Owner, Vosges Haut Chocolat, Ltd. After studying chemistry and psychology at Vanderbilt University, Katrina Markoff boarded a plane to Paris to pursue her true passion, culinary arts. Katrina studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked in kitchens in France, Spain, Italy, Southeast Asia and Australia before returning to the United States to start her own chocolate company in Chicago. In 1998, Katrina opened her first retail store with a loan guaranteed by the SBA. As president and owner of Vosges Haut Chocolat, Ltd., Katrina set her sights on creating a luxurious chocolate experience, incorporating her unique business philosophy, which strives for a balance of mind and spirit in the workplace. She also wanted her customers to embrace the idea of trying something new. The company attempts to create awareness of other cultures through the medium of chocolate. Vosges chocolates feature indigenous spices, flowers, roots, scents and other ingredients Katrina has discovered in her travels around the world. Although Vosges is located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, its chocolate brand is known worldwide from Dubai to Japan to England. Today with more than 83 employees, Vosges wholesales its luxury chocolates to retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Whole Foods and Charlie Trotter’s.