Brenda’s Dad makes the very first sale for Bellafina Chocolates at a downtown Kingsport concert in 2010

My family didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but what we did have were parents who provided a safe, nurturing home with a strong emphasis on education and accomplishing as much as possible in our lives.  It is heartbreaking to see so many children who do not have these advantages. It was a desire to help these children that inspired the creation of Bellafina Chocolates.

In 2010 I was working full time as Vice President in a Fortune 500 industrial company.  During my spare time I spent hours in the kitchen whipping up truffles and perfecting recipes. I have always been passionate about helping children and I really enjoyed making chocolate, so I told my husband Scott, “I want to start a part-time chocolate business, I want to work for free, and I want to donate all my profits to children’s charities.”  And so, Bellafina Chocolates was born. I dedicated the company to helping underprivileged kids and on weekends I found myself at local farmer’s markets and downtown concerts selling my chocolate creations and quickly raising money for children’s charities.

A year later a corporate restructuring left me without a job and pondering what to do with the second half of my career.  With Scott’s support, we decided to purchase a commercial chocolate making machine and take this side job full time! Over the past 9 years Bellafina Chocolates has grown significantly.  In 2012 we were awarded the KOSBE small business award and expanded our customer base. In 2015, we moved from my home kitchen to a downtown space. In 2016, we began creating paid positions for single mothers and women in recovery from addiction, domestic violence or other personal struggles. In 2018, we purchased an even larger chocolate production line with a new tempering machine, enrobing line, and cooling tunnel which more than tripled production capabilities. Along the way we have had amazing volunteers come alongside us and help make this dream a reality.  Volunteers who have painted and cleaned and learned the art of making chocolate. Volunteers who have mentored and donated and worked long hours to see the mission of Bellafina fulfilled time and time again.  

In the process we have also developed strong relationships with organizations who are effectively reaching at risk children such as…

  • Children threatened by disease – Children Exceeding Expectations is a school especially for children fighting cancer and Saint Jude’s Hospital supports children with life-threatening illnesses.  
  • Children threatened by poverty – Serving Orphans Worldwide and Kuda Vana Children’s Home are Christian organizations bringing hope to orphans in the most desperately poor parts of the globe.
  • Children threatened by family situations – Families Free, CASA and Youth Villages  provides support to families in crisis and protect the children in these difficult situations.

    Children at Kuda Vana Children’s home in Zimbabwe live in loving family units throughout their childhood

I believe that God gives us certain gifts, talents, and circumstances for a specific purpose.  It is sometimes difficult to be sure of that purpose, but for my part I am dedicating myself to growing this company to the point that it can make a significant impact on children’s lives.  Right now, Bellafina is writing thousand-dollar checks to charities. One day we hope to be writing million-dollar checks!

Several years ago I came across this verse:       “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV).                                              

When I read it, I was struck by how these words so perfectly capture how I feel about my life. I have been abundantly blessed in so many ways… a wonderful family, a comfortable place to live in a beautiful part of the country, good health, and the privilege to live in a country that enjoys personal and religious freedom to a degree that is found in few other places.  It is these abundant blessings that both inspire my desire to help others and give me the ability to do it.

The mission of Bellafina Chocolates is to help the world’s most vulnerable women and children.  We do this by making some of the most delicious chocolate creations on the planet. 100% of profits from every purchase is a donation to worthy children’s charities…always has been and always will be.  Will you help us spread the word?


-Brenda Barnicki