Meet Ingeri Eaton. She worked for years in the steel business, at American Brass. She liked to bake cakes and cookies for people’s birthdays, and other special occasions and bring them to work to share. Then one day she got bored with the baked goods, and started making chocolates.
Word spread like through the plant and people started coming up to her and asking her to make chocolates for them. Eaton Chocolate opened on Hertel Avenue four years later.
Well, it wasn’t all that easy.
The Real Beginning
Ingeri was a single mother when she started working at American Brass sixteen years ago. With no college degree, the Steel business was a good opportunity to support her daughter, despite the heavy lifting involved. She met the man who would become her husband there a few years later.
Both Ingeri and her husband started working there about the same time. Over the years, even though they are part of a union, they have both experienced layoffs several times, and sometimes both of them were laid off at the same time. They know the myth versus reality of job security in today’s economy.
The Big Shift
A few years ago, Ingeri was injured at work. She had to have surgery on her rotator cuff and was on restricted duty for seven months. At around the same time, she turned forty, and her daughter gave birth to her first grandchild.
She tried to take an unpaid leave, she needed to regroup and rethink her life, as she felt pulled in different directions. That was not in the cards. In the meantime, she and her husband found a location and opened Eaton Chocolate. They worked opposite shifts so they could cover the store hours.
Then Ingeri’s workman’s compensation claim came through for her. They took the leap and she quit her job, investing part of the claim award into the business.
She explains they offer customized orders. And yes, they do offer chocolate covered bacon! They also include Lake Effect Ice Cream on the menu.
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