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A Passion For Chocolate Since 1898

Inspired by a long family tradition of candy and pastry making dating back to 1898, Dana Davenport founded Dilettante Chocolates in 1976 in the vibrant Capitol Hill district of Seattle, Washington. From humble roots as a neighborhood chocolate and coffee shop, Dilettante has blossomed into something much more. Featuring a full line of gourmet chocolates, confections, pastries, and artisan coffee, Dilettante’s craft continues to be celebrated and shared.

Dilettante’s Story begins with a man named Julius Rudolf Franzen. According to family journals, Julius left his home in Mediash, Hungary, to start a confectionery apprenticeship in Budapest at 12 years old. Due to his talent, Julius quickly received work across Europe and traveled to Vienna, Paris, and Russia. In 1906, Julius became the Master Pastry Chef to his most famous patron, the last great Hapsburg emperor, Franz Joseph I. 

In the year 1976, the original Dilettante Location opened in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Then named, The Dilettante, the store served coffee, chocolates, and pastries. The memorable store served as Seattle’s first mocha experience.

The Master Notebooks and training from his Father Jerome and Uncle Irving helped Dana Davenport immeasurably. The knowledge and expertise of his great-uncle, Julius Franzen, allowed Dana to perfect his craft and Dilettante’s signature flavor: Ephemere.

Derived from the word Ephemeral, meaning a brief and fleeting experience, Ephemere brought together caramelized butter, sugar, and cream for a velvety smooth taste. As a result, Ephemere offers a deeply savory experience with a rich, full-bodied taste. Julius Franzen mentioned the Ephemere name in his Master Notebooks, but the flavor required Dana’s iteration to reach its full potential.

The Ephemere flavor began as a chocolate sauce to create mochas but soon incorporated itself into various confections, including the iconic Ephemere Truffle. Dana considers the Ephemere truffle his family’s heirloom creation, a culmination of decades of combined experience.

Today, Dilettante improves its craft with new modern cacao agriculture, the revival of heirloom plants, and new techniques. Using the Master Notebooks as a foundation to create unique and delicious flavor profiles, Dilettante seeks to continue its long legacy.