Passion for chocolate has been a source of happiness regardless of age, nationality or gender for centuries. A number of studies support this fact by demonstrating chocolate boosts morale and reduces stress.

Hakan Erdagoz, a University of Utah Ph.D. student in political science at the U, was always amazed by the taste of German chocolates that Seyhan Bozkurt, his close friend, brought from Germany. “Not many people can refuse chocolate, especially if it is high-quality,” Erdagoz said.

Erdagoz’s comment ignited the idea to startup a business for Bozkurt who has years of experience in hospitality and food industry in Utah. Growing up in Germany, Bozkurt always had easy access and exposure to the high-quality chocolate with a variety of flavors. Bozkurt, Erdagoz and Oniz Birsoy, Bozkurt’s wife, wanted to help make it more accessible in Utah. Bozkurt said, “That is why and how we launched our chocolate business in early 2017.”

During her MBA study at the U, Birsoy, who graduated in 2009, was already familiar with the exceptional programs available at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute (then called the Lassonde Entrepreneur Center). She said, “I know the perfect resource to get the necessary information and support to get started, the Lassonde Institute.” That paved the way for Bozkurt and Erdagoz to meet Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director at Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, and to discuss their business plan.

Erdagoz said, “We believe that going beyond the mediocre requires dedication, hard work, sacrifice and patience. That’s what makes the difference. Chocolate deserves more than mediocrity; you deserve more than mediocrity.”

“All of this is why,” Birsoy said, “we are introducing Deziria, a high-quality chocolate with a marvelous taste, to our community.”