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Sick of the rat race? Embrace the simple life with a business that soothes customers' souls.

This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you have ever been tempted to chuck the Palm Pilot, ditch the agonizing bureaucratic corporate meetings and ball up the sensible tie or pantyhose, you're not alone. Disaffected corporate types have decided to veer off the fast track and pave new paths to entrepreneurship. In doing so, they've found happiness in creating soothing businesses that nourish customers' refined palates and souls.

Unfulfilled as an investment bank chief of staff, Laure de Montebello quit the corporate world and joined the French Culinary Institute in 1997. "I loved the care and meticulousness required for chocolate work," says de Montebello, 38, who later became a French restaurant's pastry chef.

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