A love for chocolate and baking led to the conception of COWBOY-UP Chocolates in 2003 when James Crowder was creating what would later become the original “Concho Caramel.” At that time, he was baking creative cakes and pies for family and friends, and it was said his deep-dish chocolate pie was one of the best ever (listed in TCR’s “Food: The Texas Way” cookbook.)
James decided he wanted to focus on developing artisan and designer chocolates. He received his Chocolatier Designation from the Professional School of Chocolat L’Art Chocolate: Ecole Chocolat. He attended a “chocolate boot camp” in Madison, Wisconsin and also received a Certificate of Chocology when he studied chocolate design under the direction of Elaine Gonzalez, the author of “The Art of Chocolate.” He was honored to be a guest speaker at the Retail Confectioners International Candy Clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was noted in Manufacturing Confectioner trade magazine.
Because of his West Texas heritage, James chose to emphasize “all things western” in his chocolate designs. His most famous product is "Squittle™", (brittle with a squeal) a maple, pecan brittle made with real, smoked bacon. It was shown on the "Food Channel" and written about in the Candy Industry magazine. COWBOY-UP Chocolates was made an MGM Vendor for the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Because people like Texas "stuff", COWBOY-UP Chocolates have been enjoyed in every state and over forty countries. They were recently featured on the Texas Country Reporter TV series with Bob Phillips on ABC (video below) as well as “San Angelo Lifestyles” magazine. At the International Chocolatiers Convention in New York City, Cowboy Up Chocolates won 1st in new flavors (Almonds de Leche) and 1st in marketing (wooden roses). Cowboy Up Chocolates was selected as one of the top 25 “Primo Picks” in H-E-B’s “Best of Texas” and recently honored with a 2015 Small Business Award. Their “Saddlebag Sampler” was featured in the gift section of Western Horseman magazine. Cowboy Up Chocolates created 800 personalized candy bars for the “Laura W. Bush” Institute for Women’s Health conference. The research company, www.shopacrosstexas.com has selected Cowboy-Up Chocolates as one of the best stores in Texas.
In November 2019 James retired and sold the business to Misty Mullin. She is a Texas Tech Alumni and also received a chocolatier certificate from Ecole Chocolat. Since the change, the business has been featured in the Retail Confectionary Magazine and Texas Highways Magazine. Cowboy UP Chocolates will be moving to historic downtown San Angelo in the fall 2021 and will be offering a wider variety of western themed confections.
COWBOY-UP Chocolates uses the highest quality chocolate and other ingredients from around the world. We make all of our chocolate creations in small batches to ensure quality and flavor. The unique flavor combination and designs are exclusive to COWBOY-UP Chocolates and their COWBOY-UP Collection.