Yes, there really is a Denman Island. It is one of the northern Gulf Islands, a string of small islands dotted through the Salish Sea, which lies between much larger Vancouver Island the British Columbia mainland. It is a short ferry ride from Vancouver Island to Denman Island, where residents and visitors find themselves in a little rural Arcadia. It's green - although heavy logging that took place in the 1990's is only now starting to look a little less brown - and we have lakes and lots of beautiful beaches. Everyone knows everyone else - and everyone else's business - and we don't lock our doors.
Denman Island may not be the simplest place in which to run a chocolate factory, but it has its perks. The factory is nestled on top of a ridge among arbutus and Douglas Fir trees, with an understory of moss, salal, ferns and - in season - calypso orchids and chocolate orchids. Yes, really. We see deer walk by our windows almost every day. Bald eagles and turkey vultures ride the thermal currents that sweep up the ridge. And, in the summer, if we're really quiet, we can hear the thin arbutus bark crackle as it peels off the trees. It's a great place to work.