Story by Ella Burnham
Photo by Yzmari Duran
When walking into the Euphoria Chocolate Company, visitors might need to take a few seconds to take in the heavenly displays of truffles and chocolate bars positioned around the store. With their colorful and mouth watering displays, Euphoria creates the feeling like that of being in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. From truffles to chocolate granola and candy bars, they have something for everyone.
Manager Laura Betty has been working at Euphoria for 30 years. She spoke with fondness of how she was hired during the Christmas holiday season as a young adult when her friend told her that they needed some help to manage the upcoming rush of customers. While staying attentive to the front counter, Betty recounted the story of when the current owner, Bob Bury, started his company after having been a car mechanic at Wagon Works.
“Bury had another job but he always loved chocolate, so he managed to borrow $100 and did a lot of different chocolate recipes for truffles,” said Betty. “He came across a recipe that all of his friends told him was a winner, so he went for it.”
Bury began making different types of truffles and chocolate cheesecakes at night at Café Central, which is now known as Café Soriah. Then, he started selling his chocolate to local Eugene businesses. He later moved into the location on West 17th Street and started the company.
When they first started Euphoria, Bury and his wife knew that they needed to find a way to spread the word about their handmade delicacies. They decided to host a fundraising event for the ARC Association called the Truffle Trot during the week of Valentine’s Day to publicize their new company.
“A lot of the elite runners from the University of Oregon participated in it and a lot of the community participated in it as well,” said Betty.
The Truffle Trot was sponsored by Euphoria for 15 years until they decided to retire it. It is now known as the Truffle Shuffle and, although it is no longer sponsored by Euphoria, the company still donates truffles to the event.
Local Eugene resident and University of Oregon student Addy Monahan is a frequent customer at Euphoria.
“I’ve participated in the truffle shuffle and it’s a really fun event!” said Monahan. “You get to meet a lot of new people and the chocolate is delicious.”
Since Euphoria is a locally owned business, all of the products are designed and manufactured by Eugene residents, including Betty.
“I came up with the idea of including three different types of chocolate—white, milk and dark—into one bag,” said Betty. “There was another woman in the company that decided to call it ‘Mingle’.”
Euphoria offers many different types of chocolate, including chocolate bars with tie-dye printed wrapping to appeal to the artistic residents of Eugene. Quotes are written on the back of each bar.
For example, the one for the milk chocolate bar is, “Picture yourself on a boat on a river eating Euphoria’s creamy Milk Chocolate Bar. Don’t get hung up on getting some on your tie-dye T-shirt. It’ll blend right in!” These creative and decorative chocolate bars are unique to Euphoria and cannot be found anywhere else.
“I come here for the unique tastes and designs that Euphoria has to offer,” said Monahan. “Not to mention how good everything is! You really cannot find a better truffle.”
With its range of delicious products and colorful store displays, it’s no wonder Euphoria has become such a well-known chocolate company in the Eugene area. Along with uniqueness and creativity, Euphoria’s goal in the words of Betty, is to “offer the best, most delicious homemade and handmade chocolate in the Eugene area.”