Bob Bury made life a whole lot sweeter for Eugene residents and people around the planet when he founded Euphoria Chocolate Company in December of 1980. He began making his signature chocolates at night in the kitchen of a local restaurant. Today, Euphoria has three shops in Eugene and their chocolates can be found on the shelves of stores throughout the northwest.
Bob grew up in the bay area and received a degree in economics. He ended up in Eugene as a skilled auto technician but was not exactly where he wanted to be in his career. The Lane Community College Small Business Program appealed to his spirit of entrepreneurship and he decided to complete the three-year program. Bob benefited from "working with people who have similar situations - new businesses owners learning the intricacies of tax law, balance sheets, and record keeping."
Bob still feels a deep connection to the program that helped him start his successful business. "I feel a collegiality with other businesses that went through the program. It feels like a family." Bob has many current business relationships that were fostered during his time in the program, and he feels that it not only gave him the skills needed to succeed, but also the connections to build lifelong relationships.
One stand-out aspect of Bob's time at Lane was the instructor of his program, Jean Names Cross. He finds her to be a "remarkably talented" person; he still meets with Jean from time to time. "It's like seeing an old friend but it ends up being all about business," he says. Bob sees Lane Community College as a "compliment to a university education." He also hires qualified Lane graduates and appreciates that Lane prepares students for jobs that don't require a four year degree. "Lane is an important community resource," he says.
Euphoria Chocolates makes many contributions to the local community and to Lane, and Bob says, "The community supports us and we strive to support the community." Because when we all work together, everything is sweeter.
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