#102: A Passion for Food, Small Business, and Local Products


photo courtesy of Lindsay Tarnoff

“I’d only visited Rochester once, briefly, before we decided to move here. More than a year later, and just a few weeks after my newly-wedded husband and I arrived back in the states from a honeymoon in Southeast Asia, we packed up all of our belongings (and our two black cats, India and Sprout) into a U-Haul and began our married life on Caroline Street in the South Wedge.

“Despite not knowing much about the city, I was excited to explore. My first love in the city was meandering around the South Wedge. I popped in and out of the eclectic shops, and made a class at TruYoga part of my daily routine. More often than not I would find my way to Mount Hope Cemetery on my evening runs. My heart swelled on my pre-election run with my husband to Susan B. Anthony’s and Frederick Douglass’ gravestones. American history feels meaningful and real here. So does our personal story. On a cold November day, we found out we were expecting a baby, and celebrated over an unforgettable meal at Roux.

“In the short time we’ve been here, I’ve loved taking advantage of the balance between city life and close proximity to the outdoors. I’ve enjoyed the music scene and concerts at Eastman, and visiting the MAG and George Eastman Museum, just as much as I’ve reveled in getting out of the city, hiking in Letchworth and Stony Brook Parks, grabbing a hot apple cider and donuts at nearby cider mills, and going on autumn bike rides along the Erie Canal. This spring, seven months pregnant, I savored the sunny days at the Lilac Festival and breathed in the spring flowers: the daffodils, tulips, lilacs, all of which remind me of my grandmother, making me feel at home.

“I started Laughing Gull Chocolates as I was getting to know the city, but I’ve been in awe of the passion for food, small business, and local products. I’ve loved meeting so many amazing people who have made me feel welcome: new friends made at the Brighton and Rochester Public Markets, my husband’s teammates on his adult league baseball team, and our neighbors in the South Wedge, who crocheted a blanket for our baby daughter, Alex.

“Late this summer, as my husband, my newborn daughter, and I walked from our new home in the North Winton Village neighborhood to a local ice cream shop, I realized that Rochester has become a home. It’s where I’ve started my life as a wife; it’s where I became a mom; and it’s where I’m learning to realize my dream of saving the world with chocolate. I love Rochester for all these reasons.”

—Lindsay Tarnoff, North Winton Village 
Laughing Gull Chocolates

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