One might be hard pressed to find two things women enjoy more than chocolate and chatting with friends, which may have something to do with why the group Chat, Chew & Chocolate was awarded the “Best Of: Girls Night Out” by Phoenix Magazine for 2009.
There are nine chapters throughout Arizona, and the Ahwatukee Foothills chapter of Chat, Chew & Chocolate has been going strong for four years. Led by Liz Elston, the group meets each month at a new location with a new theme.
“I think Chat, Chew & Chocolate was chosen by Phoenix Magazine because there’s nothing out there like us,” Elston said. “We’re affordable and fun, and we have wine, chocolate and guest speakers at our meetings.”
Unlike other groups, Chat, Chew & Chocolate does not encompass business networking.
“We’re not about business or networking,” Elston said. “In this age, women are really looking for things to connect to. Women are inspired by leaving drama at the door when they come to our meetings.”
While it is hard for Elston to pin down an exact number of women who have been involved with Chat, Chew & Chocolate over the years, she believes she has probably had over 1,000 women from the area attend the meetings.
“There is not membership per se, it’s a pay as you go monthly basis,” she said.
According to Elston, the lack of commitment is part of what has made the group successful.
“I’d rather be part of something where I can pop in and out,” she said. “If women happen to like the theme of the month or the place we’re meeting, they can come.”
Elston regularly gives Ahwatukee Chat, Chew & Chocolate attendees surveys to see what they like and dislike about the meetings, and the personal connections and friendships made at the meetings always top the surveys.
“On every survey for four years, hands down the amazing connections are always the most common thing,” she said. “We leave all the pressures behind.”
Elston also said that she enjoys the meetings because of the unique information that is shared.
“I leave every single meeting inspired,” she said. “I’m always in awe of all of these women, which is the essence of Chat, Chew & Chocolate.”
Some women feel that they need to bring friends of their own to come to the meetings, but Elston encourages women to come on their own.
“I always try to encourage women to come by themselves because they won’t feel alone once they’re here,” she said. “And if women think they have enough friends already, they should come because we’re different.”
For more information about upcoming events, visit Chat, Chew & Chocolate’s Web site at www.chatchewandchocolate.com/Ahwatukee.