About Us

Riverhorse Chocolates

The hippopotamus derives its name from the Greek words hippos, which means horse, and potamos, meaning river.

Let me begin by saying that I spent 41 years as an elementary general music teacher – not a business teacher or family and consumer science teacher (Home Economics for us older folks) or sous chef or even a waitress. Nope. None of those. I was a music teacher. I loved teaching music, loved my job, the K-6 students, my colleagues and my
school in Bucks County. But all good things do eventually come to an end…and in this case, that end was retirement. And as we have all heard, retirement is the time to do those things you have always wanted to do, explore new options, or even to try a new career. And so I combined all three of those possibilities and began down a new path
that fused the two other passions I’ve held most of my life – hippopotamuses and chocolate!

I can pinpoint my first passion, hippos, back to when I was an 8-year- old child. My mother took me to the movie theater to see Disney’s 1940’s version of Fantasia. While I’m sure I enjoyed the entire movie, the segment I loved the most was Amilcare Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours”. It depicted a 24-hour day, broken into 6-hour segments, each defined by a particular animal: ostrich, elephant, hippo and alligator. Well, there was just something about that huge Hyacinth Hippo, dressed in a tiny yellow tutu, her teeny feet ensconced in yellow ballet slippers, that stuck with me. The theme of that selection also stuck with me (you may remember it as Allen Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”). And so, since that movie, I have been in hippo love. At this point of my life, I think I have collected, bought or been given every possible hippo item ever produced on this earth: mugs, stuffed animals, costumes, art, clothing, sculpture – inside things, outside things…you name it, I have it! And I still look for new hippo things online…sigh.

Advance in time 25 years – I am now a mother with two children under 6, back to teaching after a maternity leave and trying to juggle the Home, School & Family Circus Show on 6 hours of sleep a night. Never enough time. Always things left on my “to do” list. How I survived this part of my life, I will never ever know. But I felt the most guilt about this juggling act around the Christmas holiday. I was the worst mother…I just always ran out of time to bake those yummy homemade Christmas cookies everyone else seemed to manage. The most I could manage was Pillsbury’s Slice & Bake tubes. So I decided to buy some chocolate and try to dip pretzels, something that looked like it was far less time-consuming. My family liked them! My colleagues liked them! My neighbors liked them! Wahoo! I hit pay dirt!! And when there were cookie exchanges I was a celebrity – because no one else made chocolate covered pretzels!! And from that time on, until 2016 when I retired, I bought the supplies, added more chocolate dipped items to my “menu” – and pretty much gave it all away as gifts, presents, donations, or bridal/baby favors. But all along the way my husband and kids encouraged me to start a business and sell my products. My children, now grown, were requesting packages for their work offices in NYC – New York City!!! (a true compliment for me). My husband requested them for his workers during the holidays. People requested my chocolates for events and gatherings. But there was still never enough time… until I retired. Hence the birth of Riverhorse Chocolates… the combining of 2/3 of my lifelong passions. And my first passion, music, is always playing in the background as I work to create new products for the public. And I am absolutely loving taking this leap of faith! I would love to work with you to create just the perfect favor, tray, packaging, colors or gift for your event. I have something to fit every budget and will work with you and present a variety of options to make your event a memorable success!

Thanks for visiting the Riverhorse Chocolates site. Please do not hesitate to contact me via phone or email to discuss the chocolates that are custom-created just for you!

Debbi Bacak
Riverhorse Chocolates