“Chocolate Mindfulness,™” An Entrepreneurial Alum’s Rewarding Business 

Headshot of Melissa Mueller-Douglas, MSW ’11 in front of a black screen wearing a brown shirt and hijab.
Melissa Mueller-Douglas, MSW ’11

Can a small piece of ethically sourced, small batch dark chocolate motivate people to engage in self-care and stress reduction? Alum and entrepreneur, Melissa Mueller-Douglas, MSW ’11 finds it does. After graduating with her Masters of Social Work degree, Melissa worked for six years as a therapist and then four years as a Vocational/Educational Specialist at the University of Rochester, working with dual-diagnosis clients. 

Melissa became intrigued by the positive outcomes she observed when using mindfulness with her clients. This, combined with the realization that self-care needs were often neglected by her colleagues, led Melissa to develop a business plan to encourage companies and organizations to provide an opportunity for team building and personal strategies to decrease stress and increase mindfulness in the workplace and in employees’ personal lives. 

Purple bags of chocolate. Her “Chocolate Mindfulness™ Retreats,” and MYRetreat App have become the centerpieces of her business, and she is seeing success. Her creative idea, pairing chocolate with mindfulness and other wellness strategies in both her online and in-person workshops and daily mediations in the App, is attracting an increasing number of businesses and organizations and their employees. 

Clients include: University of Wisconsin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, YWCA in Madison, American Express, and the University of Rochester. She also has partnered with several small chocolate companies, often woman owned, whose products she makes available to participants. 

You can find out more about Melissa and “Chocolate Mindfulness™” and get the free MYRetreat App at: chocolatemindfulness.co

We are always interested in creative ways our alums are using their social  work educations. Please share yours with us at: alumni@socwork.wisc.edu.