Lecia Colette Duke

Title: President and Founder
Company: Quintessential Chocolates Co., Inc.
Location: Fredericksburg, Texas, United States

Lecia Colette Duke, President and Founder at Quintessential Chocolates Co., Inc., has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in business ownership.

Regarded as a chocolate diva for her entrepreneurial excellence and award-winning products, Ms. Duke founded and incorporated Quintessential Chocolates Co. Inc., a company specializing in developing and distributing liquor-filled chocolate, in 1984, following years of work in the architecture industry. She initially worked as a publications draftswoman with Kentron Hawaii Ltd. from 1973 to 1975, during which time she was responsible for preparing camera-ready artwork for all onboard flight data for Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs. She subsequently served at Taft Architects from 1975 until 1976 and Cunningham Associates between 1976 and 1980, and contributed to a number of award-winning restoration projects in Galveston’s Historic Strand.

Ms. Duke earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Houston in 1980, graduating as first in her class. Following this accomplishment, she refined her skills as an intern architect and designer for Morris Aubrey Architects. She continued as an architectural and graphic director for R.C. Mathews Construction while fostering her chocolate business.

The only chocolatier in the United States to create and nationally distribute American-made liqueur praliné candies, Ms. Duke has received Texas Foundation of Architect’s Rae Jacobs Scholarship, the American Institute of Architecture’s Award of Excellence, the PIAS Graphic Design Award and the Waste Reduction Award from the Department of Public Works in Kitsap County. Furthermore, she accepted five awards for excellence from the Fine Beverage & Food Federation. She was additionally presented several American Taste Awards through the American Tasting Institute and the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for Innovation through the National Association of Women Business Owners.

To broaden her knowledge and skills as a business owner, Ms. Duke remains affiliated with the Native American Business Alliance, as well as the National Association of Women Business Owners. Committed to helping improve the vitality of her community, she was the secretary to the Inter-Tribal Powwow Committee in Fredericksburg, Texas, for nine years and an approved Native American student and volunteer for the Texas Archaeological Society Field School.

Ms. Duke attributes her ongoing success to the frustrations she experienced as a young woman employed in architecture. Confident that she would succeed working independently, she began experimenting with making chocolate, employing the skills she had learned from her grandmother. She was further inspired by her experiences visiting chocolatiers in Europe to produce chocolate filled with American-made liquor. While her career has been filled with standout moments, she is most proud to have raised her daughter, Jesse, a 34-year-old doctor of veterinary medicine.  Looking toward the future, Ms. Duke intends to write and publish her personal story to chronicle her journey from frustrated intern to chocolatier.

For more information, please visit:
Quintessential Chocolates Co. Inc.

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