Ojai, California

The Valley of the Moon

Beatrice Wood. Photo by Donna Granata

Beatrice Wood. Photo by Donna Granata

“You know, our life is going to be very different when we move to Ojai.” I woke Lisa up at 3:00 AM on our last night in LA with this news flash. She claimed she was ready and even looking forward to the adjustment. It was a relief that we were on the same page until I realized that, while I was talking about a lack of lesbian bars and art galleries, Lisa was focused on her spiritual journey. Neither of us could fully grasp the changes we were about to undergo. Specifically, we fell in love. First with the natural beauty, then with the community and, eventually, with the town’s unofficial patron saint, Beatrice “Beato” Wood. Her legendary career and life that spanned over ten decades, the bright saris that became her uniform, her cheeky love of young men, her passion for chocolate; Beatrice’s tenacity and quirky individualism embodied the spirit of Ojai.

In 1947, Wood moved to the Ojai Valley, christened the “Valley of the Moon” by the native Chumash tribes. Ojai, she said, was like finding “the gold at the end of a long obstacle-strewn rainbow.” The first product we launched was our “Moon Face” Chocolate Sculpture, 72% dark chocolate with fleur de sel. Created from Wood’s original ceramic sculpture mold, it’s a tribute to her and her Ojai studio, located on a hilltop overlooking what she described as “one of the most beautiful valleys of the world.”

Stay tuned,
Co-Founder of Beato Chocolates

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