Christian Edwards can tell you the exact page in Sarah Palin’s book where she mentions his peanut butter meltaways.
As Palin’s deputy chief of staff, he stocked the candidate’s plane with chocolate from his family’s company, Edward Marc Chocolatier. “Knowing that Governor Palin felt better after a long day just by eating our chocolate was very rewarding,” says Edwards.
He and his sister, Dana Edwards Manatos (she’s married to Tom Manatos, an advisor to Nancy Pelosi), are fourth-generation chocolate makers who run the company from a chic townhouse in DC’s West End. Their brother Mark is the CFO and oversees manufacturing in Pittsburgh.
The siblings have always made a good team. In fact, they worked right across from each other in the Bush White House. Edwards was the director of press advance for President Bush, and Manatos was the associate director of public liaison. “Working in the White House was great preparation for running the chocolate business,” Manatos says, “because of the organization, work ethic and long hours required.”
After leaving the White House, Edwards and Manatos decided to go back to the family’s gourmet chocolate company and were thrilled to discover that their political connections delivered them a clientele of high-powered chocoholics. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given out their chocolate medallions embossed with her signature and the State Department logo, while Speaker Pelosi routinely gifts Edward Marc chocolates bearing her name.
The family also runs a shake shop, called The Milkshake Factory, in Pittsburgh in the space of their great-grandparents’ original 1914 soda fountain. An Edward Marc Chocolatier outpost opened earlier this year at the Pentagon (the first retail location for the company in the DC area) and another Milk Shake Factory may not be far behind.