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Ryan Love, 29

Director of retail operations, Norman Love Confections

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 5:00 p.m. October 25, 2018
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Class of 2018
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Just like you can’t pick your parents, you usually can’t pick the business your father starts.

On both fronts, Ryan Love made out well. His dad is Norman Love Confections founder Norman Love, one of the leading chocolatiers statewide and one the more prominent entrepreneurs in Southwest Florida. The business, founded in 2001, has some 110 employees and four retail locations.

And Ryan Love got to learn by his dad’s side. “As early as I can remember, I was putting chocolate in boxes,” says Love, who adds that sometimes his high school hockey and wrestling teammates came by the business to help out.

After college, the younger Love started to work for the company. His first role was on the ganache station, working on flavors that go inside the company’s famous chocolates. He has since worked his way up to director of retail operations, which includes hiring, training and, Love says, “anything that has to do with the retail stores.”

Love says his biggest challenge in his current role is finding and hiring top employees — something common in retail. Another challenge, says Love, is the cost of living in Southwest Florida has forced some people to move, shrinking the labor pool.

On the flip side of the challenges, Love relishes what he gets to do for a living, particularly when he works on the retail floor, directly with customers. “Seeing a smile on someone’s face is one of the best parts of my job,” Love says. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to be in this business.”








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