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Tradestone Confections are artisan chocolates, delicious confections & gourmet goodies handcrafted in Conshohocken, PA, by Chefs Chip Roman and Fred Ortega. The line includes signature bon bons and palets, classic truffles, caramels, barks, pate de fruits, and more. We ship across the United States, offering distinguished gifts and exceptional treats for all occasions.
Please stop by Tradestone Cafe, our storefront, at 117 Fayette Street, Conshohocken, PA, to view the whole line in person and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Chef and entrepreneur Charles “Chip” Roman is among the most prominent figures on the Philadelphia area food scene. In addition to his catering company, Charles Roman Catering, he is chef-owner of the nationally acclaimed restaurant Blackfish.
Before launching his own businesses, Roman worked closely with some of the region’s most respected chefs including Georges Perrier at the legendary Le Bec-Fin and Marc Vetri at the universally lauded Vetri. Learning from these masters, Roman now mentors chefs at other restaurants himself while he guides his culinary empire to greater successes. It’s this eye for talent and business acumen that led him to partner with expert chocolatier Fredrick Ortega. Like Ortega, Roman has always had a passion for chocolate—in fact, he creates the desserts at his restaurant—and the pair collaborates on flavor profiles and ideas for Tradestone Confections.
Roman was inspired to start this endeavor because he wanted to reach gourmet food enthusiasts that can’t come to his acclaimed eateries. “Any given restaurant can only reach so many people, but with chocolates you can order online and have them shipped anywhere, so I can share my creativity with a much wider audience,” says Roman.
With dual degrees in business and culinary arts, Roman has sharp sensibilities for both food and market trends. Though his leadership role has placed many demands on him, he can frequently be found cooking behind the line at his flagship restaurant, Blackfish, in Conshohocken, PA. Even his favorite form of R&R—fishing—plays a role in his business. Roman often brings the catch of the day back to Blackfish’s kitchen to keep him connected to the natural resources that produce the world’s best ingredients.
Tradestone co-founder Fredrick Ortega, a professional chocolatier for the past 13 years, has always had a passion for cocoa. At age 7, he won a giant chocolate bunny in a school contest and recalls feeling utterly captivated by the treat in a way the other kids weren’t. Sure, it was delicious sweet candy, and Ortega liked eating it, but even more importantly, it captured his imagination. “I really wanted to know everything about it, especially how it was made,” says Ortega.
A fascination with all things chocolate stayed with him through the rest of his childhood, into his studies at the Culinary Institute of America, and on his travels around the world. Though he worked on the savory side of kitchens as a line cook, he always kept close tabs on what the pastry chefs were doing. For a time he apprenticed as a chocolatier, learning the craft in general and the specific method he has now refined and perfected to make Tradestone’s line of truffles.
But it was Switzerland where he realized chocolate was more than a side project—it was his calling. “I was working in a bakery, using this amazing chocolate, and it clicked for me. I realized it was exactly what I wanted to do with my life,” says Ortega.
Back in the US, he has worked for high-end restaurants, including Philadelphia’s fabled Le Bec-Fin and Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel, creating chocolate confections that have delighted even the most discerning palates. His work has won accolades in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia magazine, among other media outlets.
At Tradestone, Ortega brings a chef’s sensibilities to chocolate making. He prizes freshness and uses local fruits, herbs, and dairy for as many items as possible. “I’m inspired by many of the ingredients you would usually think of as savory and I like combining elements that really draw flavors out in unexpected ways,” says Ortega.
A licensed pilot and woodworking enthusiast, Ortega brings an innate sense of precision and craftsmanship to his chocolate. He values flawless technique over gimmicks and trends; all Tradestone chocolates are fabricated by expert hands.