Meet Julia Balassa-Myracle
Growing up in southern Mexico and northern Guatemala, Julia Balassa-Myracle developed an affinity for chocolate. She has been cooking all her life and the culture influenced her style; she really enjoyed making molé and cooking with spices. As the years passed, Julia began exploring the world of chocolate and the minute she got into confections, she found a hobby that would take her in a whole new direction.
Julia previously worked as an officer in a maximum security juvenile facility. The work environment was stressful and exhausting. When she’d come home from work, she would immerse herself in making chocolates. She enjoyed making gifts for friends but never dreamed of having her own business. Then, Julia became very ill and had to leave her work with the county. She started taking classes in criminology but quickly realized that she could not return to that environment. With her love of chocolate, she found herself exploring the prospects of opening up her own business and researching what it would really take. And soon, with a degree from a Canadian chocolate academy, certification as a Master Chocolatier and a business plan in hand – Chocolate Myracles was born.
To make a go of it, Chocolate Myracles needed a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility where Julia could create handcrafted gourmet chocolates and truffles. “Finance was not my forte” and when Julia first built out her home based kitchen, she went to a mainstream bank. The Bank gave her a loan but at a very high interest rate. Because of the high monthly payments on the loan, Chocolate Myracles was struggling when she found WATF.
WATF was able to refinance the business equipment loan at a much lower rate. This has made all the difference in her life and in her business. With the WATF loan, Julia was able to free up her cash flow to re-invest in Chocolate Myracles. “I’d be out of business if it weren’t for WATF, they really helped carry me through.” Now, she works for herself, makes her own hours and gets to create delicious treats!
Owning her own business and pursuing something she loves, life has truly taken a turn for the better. A lot of patience, commitment and an incredible number of dishes were part of the process, but everything has been worth it in the end!
Julia has been featured in Northwest Woman, Catalyst, Spokane Sizzle and other various publications. For more information, to view her work or place an order visit: Chocolate Myracles.