Nine Lives

Meet Doreen Pendgracs, Chocolate Writer & Author

April 1, 2016
©Imaging by Marlis 2012
Permission granted to Doreen Pendgracs for personal and promotional use

My mission is to make my way around the world discovering the best chocolate experiences and events

Are you a long time user of Media Kitty or a recent member?

I have been on Media Kitty as a freelance travel journalist for a number of years, but admit to not having used it to my advantage.

What do you hope to get out of the new relaunched Media Kitty?

I really like the look and feel of the New Media Kitty. It is vibrant and more inviting, and has drawn me into working with it and expanding my reach.

How can Media Kitty members work with you?

My mission is to make my way around the world discovering the best chocolate experiences and events to share with my readers. You can imagine the travel costs of such a project, so I am grateful for invitations from various destinations to come and experience their destination with chocolate in mind.

What is involved in your job day to day?

I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993 and have written for a wide variety of publications. So working on freelance projects is a part of my day. In 2015, I merged my own three sites into one mega site that combines travel posts with posts about chocolate and the writer’s lifestyle. So a weekly blog post and daily social media activity is also a big part of what I do.

What challenges do you face in your role?

My biggest challenge is being located in rural Manitoba, an hour north of Winnipeg.  It’s not easy to get to a lot of places from Winnipeg, and so the cost of airfare can be prohibitive. But I always promise any destination that hosts me that they will a good rate of return on their investment as I work hard and don’t demand “off time” while I am on location. I’m there to work, and to deliver.

What are the achievements in your job that you are most proud of?

My books and blogs have won several awards. It’s always nice to have your work singled out as noteworthy.

What’s the most fun part of your job?

I absolutely love what I do! What’s not to love about travelling the world for chocolate? I’ve met hundreds of passionate chocolate makers, attended dozens of fantastic events, and have been slathered in molten chocolate in chocolate spas. Did I say I love my job?

What makes you good at what you do?

I love people and telling their stories. I built my career on writing compelling profiles, and this skill has transferred nicely into profiling various destinations and what makes them unique.

What are you working on that you are excited about?

I’m currently researching volume II of Chocolatour focusing on the Americas and the Caribbean. I’ve researched 16 countries so far for chocolate and have a lot more to do. The Chocolatour project has taken over my life and I love it!

What is the best way for other members to find out more about you and your work?

Please visit my website for more about me and my work at http://chocolatour.net. There is an About Doreen page and an About Chocolatour page that both contain visual slideshows of some of the places I have been and a complete bio.

What organizations do you think are doing things right in the current market?

I joined the North American Travel Journalists Association a couple of year ago and have really benefitted from my membership. My fellow media members are friendly, helpful, and supportive. And the industry members have been great to work with as well.

In your work background, how did you progress to your current role?

I began my freelance work as a Communications Consultant in 1993, and by 1995, had migrated over to magazine work. In 1997, I got my first travel assignment and haven’t looked back. It’s what I love to do.

In what ways does your job differ now from when you started out in your profession?

I’ve worked really hard to forge the new niche of chocolate travel (chocolate tourism, Chocolatourism) and have been able to find noteworthy chocolate experiences in pretty much every destination I have visited. Chocolate is the universal language of love, and I’ve been thrilled to help make people happy through my work.

What inspired you to work in this area?

I also love wine and the culinary world, so focusing on chocolate and cacao is a great match. If there’s a destination with great food, wine, and chocolate, it automatically becomes one of my favourites.

What is your favourite travel destination?

 I absolutely adore islands. Most of my favourite places are islands. I love the tropics, but also love Vancouver Island.

What is on your bucket list?

My bucket list is bigger than the Baltic Sea! The third volume of Chocolatour will cover Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Oceana. Most of that area is new to me, and so I’ve got a lot of travelling I must do for this project.

Connect with Doreen on Media Kitty!

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