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West End shop owner goes from financier to chocolatier

RICHMOND, Va. — Capping a journey that brought her from Wall Street to the West End, Jessica Leonard is hoping to take a bite out of the sweets market with a hybrid chocolate bar/box of chocolates.

Leonard last week opened Miss Maude’s Bar of Chocolates, a new shop at 8801 Three Chopt Road in the Westbury Shopping Center.

Originally from Northern Virginia, she spent 10 years in New York City working for Citigroup before realizing she wanted something more.

“I was eating a lot in New York and I was missing having my hands in the kitchen,” Leonard said. “I’d had enough.”

That led her to Richmond four years ago, where she went to culinary school Culinard, followed by a stint prepping meals in the Virginia Governor’s Mansion. As she learned more about chocolate, she had the idea for what’s now Miss Maude’s main product.

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