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Agricultural and Applied Economics

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences offers academic, research and Extension programs.

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Alumni Spotlight

When Nick Dale graduated in 2004, he had no idea what he would do in the future. He moved to Brazil to teach English and further his experience in the country's culture, having already spent time there in his senior year. When he returned to the United States, he worked in agricultural software, first for a small company but later installing and designing software for Cargill and their outside clients.

Nick Dale However, the job wasn't suiting him. “I was still technically in my first ‘real job’ after college, so I wanted to find something…I was kind of getting an itch,” Dale said. His brother had also made a career jump, so the two of them sat down for a chat. That discussion led to the concept of opening a craft chocolate manufacturing company and they partnered up to open Condor Chocolates in 2014.

Condor Chocolates is a small space in Athens' Five Points neighborhood that still feels spacious thanks to its open kitchen. Customers can watch the staff make truffles, macaroons, chocolate bars and other treats while enjoying a coffee or slice of cake. It's bright and welcoming, illuminated by natural light streaming in from its front windows.

“There's some other shops that we've seen across the country that are very educational with their shops and how chocolate is made, and we really like that approach,” Dale said. “We wanted to be an open kitchen so people could see and understand where chocolate comes from. We quickly found out that a lot of people don't know; it's something they just haven't thought of."

While Dale primarily deals with administrative work, he's still the principal chocolate maker, taking the raw cacao beans Condor imports and working the recipes to make them into chocolate. Then, Condor's chocolatiers take the finished chocolate and turn it into desserts.

In the future, Dale wants Condor Chocolates to focus on more wholesale business. He says the retail business has been going well, but he also wants to expand more into other sellers and restaurants. To help expand into the wholesale business, Dale is opening a second processing facility to meet the production demands.

He's leaned heavily on his Agricultural and Applied Economics degree while running his business and urges students to get their toes wet first before making it a career. He also said to have a lot of contact with the outside, whether it's making connections or having that international experience.

Condor Chocolates is located at 1658 Lumpkin St. in Athens, Ga. For more information on the business, visit

University of Georgia (UGA) College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)