Our Chocolate Story


In the early days of home-schooling her 4 children, Mattie Hershberger began to dream about a home based business in which each family member could contribute their unique skills and talents to the success of the business.
Family owned chocolate business in the midwest!


This dream became reality in 2009 when she started creating hand-made chocolates in a certified kitchen in the basement of her parents' home. Her husband, Lyndon Hershberger, managed the small business and enabled it to outgrow the basement kitchen!

Lyndon and Mattie Hershberger own and manage Kalona Chocolates


The business moved to its new location in downtown Kalona, Iowa. This gave Kalona Chocolates a much bigger kitchen and a store front. Now Lyndon & Mattie work together to produce a variety of chocolate confections and sell them through their store and wholesale accounts.


Lyndon and Mattie start Kalona Chocolates in Kalona, Iowa.Making chocolate truffles at Kalona Chocolates.Making cake pops at Kalona Chocolates.Celebrating the one-year-anniversary of the Kalona Chocolates retail store. 



Lyndon & Mattie were both raised in the Mennonite & Amish tradition. They proudly implement the values of honest, hard work and delicious, homemade food into Kalona Chocolates. Many of their employees come from the same culture and each share their heritage in unique ways within the business.
Amish workers making handmade chocolates in a chocolate kitchen.


From the beginning, Kalona Chocolates has been a family-focused business. All 4 of Lyndon & Mattie's daughters have worked at Kalona Chocolates - in production, sales, marketing, and bookkeeping.
Both Lyndon & Mattie's parents have been the business's biggest supporters! Lyndon got his business smarts from his dad and the chocolate-obsession came from Mattie's family (along with a family recipe for chocolate cake!). Their parents' have all helped with special events and Mattie's mom even helps in the kitchen sometimes!
Lyndon Hershberger's parents - John & Sally HershbergerMattie's Mom helps in the chocolate kitchen!
Their extended family has also been a big part of their success! In fact, Lyndon's aunt Marilyn was the first to recommend that Lyndon and Mattie start Kalona Chocolates. Since then, their family has LOVED test-tasting, but they've also jumped in to help during busy seasons and at special events. Several cousins have worked in the kitchen and Lyndon's sister now sells the chocolates in her business (Kalona Coffee House).

Making Christmas chocolates at Kalona Chocolates.

Even some of their unrelated employees are working with their own family members! There have been several siblings working together in the kitchen. The store manager's daughter sells chocolate with her. And Lyndon & Mattie strive to make everyone at Kalona Chocolates feel connected and supported! Mattie's original dream has become reality - with each member of their team contributing their unique skills and talents to the success of the business.

Kalona Chocolates full staffKalona Chocolates full staff at the Iowa State Fair

Now, Lyndon & Mattie get to experience the joy of being grandparents! Their granddaughter loves to come see Grandma making chocolates and takeover Grandpa's desk.

Grandma with granddaughter at Kalona Chocolates3 year old takes over business management



Yes! Our business is growing and we are hiring. No experience is required. We're happy to teach you all about chocolate making! We prefer experience with food preparation or working with your hands. Click here to learn more about our current open positions.