Ganache Chocolatier: Handmade Chocolate Heaven
This 21-year old chocolate shop is a must-visit in downtown Zionsville.
Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Whether you like it in a truffle, a turtle, with peanut butter, mocha or mint, downtown Zionsville’s Ganache Chocolatier has everything your chocolate heart desires. Part of the Zionsville village scene for 21 years, the chocolate lover’s paradise offers a variety of delectable treats for your sweet tooth. It also makes the perfect gift.
When you walk through the door of this quaint shop, the rich aroma wafts through the air making it impossible to resist having at least something from their case full of homemade, handcrafted chocolates. The scent of hot coffee warms your soul and calls you over to the shop’s hot beverage bar, where you can select from a full menu of drinks, including hot chocolate made from the shop’s own special cocoa mix.
“We make everything by hand, right here in the shop,” owner Lisa Lueck says. That goes for many of the non-chocolate gifts she features in the shop like blankets and quilts, too. She even embroiders blankets right in the store.
Ganache Chocolatier opened in November of 1996, right in the heart of downtown Zionsville and right at the beginning of the busiest season in the business. Today, more than two decades later, Lueck still calculates her operating procedures using the same formula.
“I use good quality and fresh ingredients,” she says.
She says it’s what keeps customers coming back. The prime location and friendly customer service helps too.
“We love seeing the same friendly customers stop in,” Lueck says. “The history of the area brings people in. The charm of the area is what brought us here and keeps us here.”
Although the former accountant and CPA spent her prior years doing nothing but calculating, Lueck’s journey to becoming a chocolatier wasn’t expected, and it was anything but predictable.
“I’ve always had a secret passion. I love making people happy, and what better way to do that than through chocolate?” Lueck says.
“I always wondered how long the chocolate had been sitting there,” Lueck says. “I wanted to make it fresh.”
Lueck started making fresh chocolate treats during her college years at Butler University. While home on the weekends or on breaks, she would whip up a batch of delectable treats and give them to family and friends to test. As passionate as she was about chocolate, she wasn’t about to abandon her accounting degree for a good reason.
“Most people who start selling chocolate don’t make it in the business,” she says. “It’s expensive to make and very labor intensive.”
But Lueck never lost heart.
She finished her accounting degree, passed her CPA and went to work for Ernst and Young. It was as if she’d drawn up a personal career balance sheet and followed it to the “T.” For five years, she did exactly that. But along the way, she found a way to slip in a little chocolate love to her clients.
“I gave them my homemade chocolates when I returned their statements,” Lueck says. “My boss even told me I should do it for a living. So, after I got married, I decided I would.”
Lueck recalls one of her first big jobs was for her accounting professor from Butler. His daughter was getting married, and he knew the perfect person to make chocolates for the reception.
“I was so nervous,” Lueck says. “I wanted everything to be just right, and he told me it was perfect except for one thing — he said he didn’t order enough.”
Lueck recalls another customer who found her chocolates a little too perfect. In the early days, she did another wedding in which the bride’s grandmother needed special accommodations due to her mobility issues. The family needed to get her settled at the reception before anyone else arrived. Lueck says the bride’s father came to her frantic asking why the boxes of chocolate favors were empty.
As always, Lueck’s accounting was on point, and the father of the bride eventually discovered grandma had sneaked a few extra chocolates for herself.
Lueck hand makes the chocolates in the shop’s kitchen. Two machines in the kitchen work to temper separate flavors, while a stack of chocolate molds awaits. A chocolate master sweeps in and fills the mold. After the chocolate cools in the cooler, they’re ready to fill with a variety of flavors, all Lueck’s special recipes.
“Every day is something new,” Lueck says. “I never know what’s on tap for the day until I get into the shop, unless of course it’s fudge day or toffee day.”
Stop in to Ganache Chocolatier at 55 East Pine Street in Zionsville village to satisfy your chocolate fix or to place your order for your next special occasion. Get the full scoop at ganache.com.