When my son was a baby, I met Maggie Louise Callahan and I was drawn in by her charming smile and her adorable blonde baby girl, Vivi. We stayed in touch and started a monthly supper club to explore all of the restaurants Austin has to offer. Alas, motherhood and work get in the way of supper clubs, predictably, so I don’t get to see Maggie as often these days; I have so much admiration for what she has built. I remember when she started her culinary studies at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, and she was working late nights to get her chocolate business going.
Now, she has taken off like a shooting star. Her chocolates have been featured in top magazines and by celebrities all over the country, including the coveted Oprah’s Favorite Things list. I’ll be honest with you; I’m not a big chocolate eater, but I LOVE hers. Especially the sea salt caramel chocolates. And the shapes she comes up with are ingenious. Ordering chocolates from her workshop on the east side of Austin is a luxury experience as soon as you walk in the door, and she doesn’t hold anything back to make sure her brand is unforgettable.
Here is more about Maggie, in her own words:
LiveMom: How long have you lived in Austin, and what brought you here?
Maggie Louise Callahan: We moved to Austin from Denver in December of 2011. We moved for my husband’s work (which is also what took us to Denver).
LiveMom: How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
Maggie: Vivi, 5, and Chip, 2 months
LiveMom: What is your idea of a perfect day with the family in Austin?
Maggie: We live downtown so an ideal day is one spent exploring the city on foot, having lunch in a new restaurant, indulging in a nice afternoon nap and a dip in the pool on the roof of our building before dinner. And then the baby would sleep all night.
LiveMom: If you had 24 hours to yourself in Austin, how would you spend it?
Maggie: An early morning workout at RedBird Pilates followed by a blowout at Triage; coffee at Cuvee on East 6th; hours spent sifting through glassware in dusty antique stores on and around Burnet; a late afternoon romantic comedy at the Violet Crown with a glass of red wine; and a date with my husband to Jeffrey’s (not alone but a night out is always better with him in it!).
LiveMom: What do you like best about Austin? What would you change, if you could?
Maggie: I love how Austin is such a creative, collaborative town with incredible energy. If I had to change one thing, I would love to see better public transportation. I really miss Uber and miss being a one car family.
LiveMom: What’s one piece of unsolicited advice you’d give to a new mom?
Maggie: The best thing parents can give to their kids is a happy home and a great example. Take time for your partner and for yourself. I have to remind myself of this often.
LiveMom: What is the best thing one mom can do for another?
Maggie: Offer unsolicited advice. Sounds crazy, but I don’t know what I am doing. I love to learn insights from others. It isn’t judgment, it’s wisdom.
LiveMom: What kind of music do you like? Any local musicians? Kids musicians?
Maggie: I love big band music and classics like Frank Sinatra. I’m still not that familiar with the local music scene (that is the reality of building a business!).
LiveMom: What’s the best way to keep up with what you are up to next?
Maggie: Ask my husband or check my calendar.
LiveMom: What might we be surprised to learn about you?
Maggie: I’ve had a unique professional journey – from Harvard Law School to working off of Wall Street in New York to being immersed in Mergers & Acquisitions out of San Francisco. Now I make beautiful chocolates!
LiveMom: What is your job, what is your title, and what do you love about your job?
Maggie: I am the Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Maggie Louise Confections. We create design-forward, delicious chocolates and sell them throughout the US. I love the creative aspect of my work – developing collections and constantly pushing myself to create something fresh. I also love being in the kitchen. It is tough physical work but incredibly rewarding.
LiveMom: Do you have any charitable organizations you like to work with/ donate to/ volunteer for locally?
Maggie: Through Maggie Louise Confections, we donate and work with a number of local charities. I am especially drawn to donating opportunities that support the east side of Austin (where our showroom and kitchen are located) and children’s education.
LiveMom: What is your secret talent?
Maggie: I have a fabulous memory. Unless I am exhausted.
More about Maggie and Maggie Louise Confections: