Covering the Land of Lincoln

Rockford female entrepreneur credits women empowerment for success

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – The Amazon Prime hit series, ‘A League of Their Own’ shows how the drive of the all women’s baseball team, Rockford Peaches, lead to championship after championship. That women’s empowerment across the stateline, still holds true today.

A national travel website puts the Forest City in the spotlight when it comes to business owners hard work, leading to unprecedented success. Susan Pitkin, is living proof.

“It’s very simple. It was never meant to be a business,” said Pitkin.

If you told Pitkin 15 years ago she’d become an entrepreneur, owning an all women-operated chocolate business out of Rockford, she’d find it hard to believe.

“It’s weird because I don’t think that way, I don’t think, wow look at what I did,” said Pitkin. “Hard work, luck, but every opportunity I would jump at.”

After noticing people had a major love for the chocolates she made as a hobby, Pitkin opened CacoCuvee & Dark Secret Chocolate in 2008. Only a few years after it opened it’s doors, Pitkin had her first of two features with Oprah Winfrey.

But the more opportunities that arose, the more Pitkin realized her business needed extra hands to assist in cooking and managing. Pitkin says she knew exactly who was up for the task.

“Rockford is full of women that are willing to work,” said Pitkin.

Pitkin credits her team of ten women, who not only put in the work, but enable her success.

“We all get along, we understand each other. Women understand women,” said Pitkin.

For Pitkin, it’s not just about the extra hands on a sixteen hour day of cooking. It’s about women, and empowering them.

“Women I think truly want to help each other, we all want to build each other up,” said Pitkin. “There’s no sense in tearing each other down. There’s enough of that in this world.”

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