The President of North Texas Health Insurance who became a Hill Country Chocolatier

If you’ve been lucky enough to come across Dr. To be Dan McCoy’s Christmas chocolate list, you already knew the former president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas knew a cocoa bean, but his latest venture as the owner of Hill Country Chocolate and its sister company DKM Cellars has taken his passion to a new level .

McCoy is a man of many talents. Before moving to the C-Suite at the Blue Cross, he was a dermatologist. During his time as an insurance manager, D CEO magazine wrote about his passion for photography and beautifully captured everyday life on his travels. Little did we know at the time, McCoy had outfitted his guest house with chocolate-making equipment, experimented with flavors and textures, and created hundreds of chocolates that he sent to friends every year for the holidays.

He had been emailing and calling chocolate experts for years, learning about mold and cocoa beans to achieve the perfect taste. “It’s a crazy mix of science and creativity,” he says. “It appealed to my brain, so I started doing things, and I took a few classes here and there and got a lot of advice from people.”

After leaving Blue Cross in 2020, he started out in health counseling but soon tired of being limited to Zoom calls all day. Years ago, he bought a home in Fredericksburg and began toying with the idea of ​​bringing his chocolate talents to the Hill Country. And he arrives with a formal education. After deciding a few years ago that he was watching too much Netflix, he enrolled in two certification courses in viticulture and Texan winemaking at the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Texas Tech University in Fredericksburg. In 2020 he completed his studies.

The dream came true when he founded Hill Country Chocolate, a store five minutes off Fredericksburg’s Main Street that’s crammed with boutiques, restaurants, and countless bachelorette parties. The 4,000-square-foot store is a “bean to bar” chocolate factory that was formerly a lumber shop.

McCoy insists on ethically sourced beans and isn’t afraid to experiment. His confections range from artisan candies to other creations made with Okinawan black sugar, coffee, black pepper, and even an orange ganache. There are also traditional confections like almond butter toffee, pecan toffee, and peanut brittle.

He also runs DKM wineries outside of space, where he works with winemakers around the world and has started his own winery (it’s not producing grapes yet). Central Coast California Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, a Tuscan red wine, and a Moscato di Asti from Piedmont are already on the menu.

Photo by: Shelby Tsika Marquardt

The store features a tasting room, which McCoy describes as a speakeasy vibe that combines wine and chocolate for a 90-minute tasting session that includes a chocolate-covered charcuterie platter. “People have always had this natural romance between chocolate and wine,” says McCoy. “When people come here, we start describing all the synergies. Both plants are perennials and both fruits are picked from the plants in the same way. Both are fermented near where they are picked. There are many similarities between the products.”

The chocolate factory opened in April and opened to the public in May. The chocolate is sold at a few wineries in the area and the organization has also started a wine club. The site was launched this fall.

McCoy continues to maintain his consulting practice, where his company has many healthcare clients, but is expanding into other industries. Focused on storytelling, he enjoys helping organizations articulate their message and engage an audience.

Today he uses those same skills, bringing chocolate and wine together with Hill Country Chocolate and DKM Cellars. “It’s not just romance; it’s chemistry,” he says. “Both products were manipulated and transformed in the same way, and in the end they had a unique ability to fit together.”


Will Maddox

Will is the senior editor for D Managing Director Magazine and publisher of D CEO Healthcare. He has written about healthcare…