An interview with Dustin Vance, co-owner

What made you decide to get into the business of food/drink?

My Mom, Dorinda, has been making our signature chocolate covered cherries since she was 12 years old. I remember growing up rolling thousands of cherries every holiday for friends and family.

Once her 4 boys had one foot out of her house she decided to start a chocolate business. In 2008, she opened the first Dorinda’s Chocolates in Truckee, California and at first it was a way for me to make my own money.

Being young and in high school it was beer and gas money, but as time went on I was infatuated with the chocolate. The science, culture, and most of all the taste was something I absolutely fell in love with. Creating new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen was my favorite thing to do. One thing lead to another and her and I both realized that we really had something special, something that was unique to the area and something that we both truly had a passion for.

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing someone bite into one of our chocolates for the first time and seeing the look on their face is absolutely priceless, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the word “mouthgasm” right before they bite into another, and once they are hooked they become a part of the Dorinda’s family — a part of our little chocolate empire.

Why Reno?

Truckee, where I was raised, is a very difficult place to do business, especially to start a new company. At that time we served chocolate and espresso style coffee, and one day Mark Trujillo, the owner of Hub Coffee Roasters, walked in and taught us what real coffee was supposed to taste like. His passion for coffee matched our tenacity for chocolate and thus a partnership was born.

We opened a month apart at what is now Reno Riverwalk district in 2012, the combination of gourmet coffee and delicious chocolate was an immediate favorite.

If you would have asked me 15 years ago to move to Reno I would laughed in your face, but the growth and love of community in this ‘Biggest Little City’ has made me fall in love and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

Why are you excited for Reno Restaurant Week?

Reno has some incredible restaurants and although I have tried my hardest to visit them all, there are simply just too many! This is an excellent opportunity to try new places and taste new and exciting foods and drinks.

I also believe with what’s happening in the world right now that we all need a little something to celebrate and what better way than to eat!

What is one thing you’d like your guests to know about you and/or your establishment? 

Our chocolates are award-winning, all-natural, hand-made creations, and you can trust that our products, in whatever form they take, are made with fairtrade ingredients of the best possible quality. That means you’ll have an indulgent, but ethical experience with every bite, hand-crafted by some of the region’s most celebrated chocolatiers.

Visit our downtown Riverside location, our South Creek shopping center location and coming soon this fall we are opening another location in the village at Rancharrah! 

How are you complying with safety guidelines for COVID-19?

We have personally been delivering orders in the Reno area which our customers absolutely love, and we encourage as many people as possible to order through our website at to avoid hands-on contact.

We are doing everything in our power to follow Governor Sisolak’s instructions for opening our retail shops. We have put up plexi glass and have all customers sanitize their hands before they shop around. We strongly encourage everyone coming into the shop to wear a mask and to have a maximum of 2 parties in the store at a time. All of our employees are required to wear a mask and to clean all touchable surfaces as often as possible.

This pandemic sucks for everyone, and is especially bad for small businesses like our own, but together we can get through this and come out the other side stronger than before.

We at Dorinda’s Chocolates would like to personally thank you all of our loyal customers for keeping our lights on during these difficult times and we want you to know that without the love and support of our community we wouldn’t be in our kitchen doing what we love to bring a smile to your face.

2020 RRW Menu

Dorinda's Menu