This entire journey began last Spring, over a year ago. It was just an idea, a dabble, a trial. Let’s see where it goes, if there was a consumer audience desiring something more.
You were, and we’ve been supplying it ever since.
From one market to three we see cycles in life that we never knew were there. Consistency in the inconsistent as it were. In the public we get to interact with a lot of people, enriching our lives with stories as we trade a spoonful of chocolate ganache, maybe the exchange of a special truffle.
Education by Trail and Error
Every interaction we do brings us a little more knowledge on how to handle the situation the next time. There is no real playbook when you are working out the kinks in online, retail, wholesale. Finances are so much fun. Tracking all the CoGS, R&D, taxes.. oh taxes.. you vex us all with complications.
There are so many caveats starting a business, I don’t think anyone is able to have their eye on all the minutia that is involved. It truly is a daunting task and we have all shared in the awe to anyone out there that has established themselves.
The Path to Retail
We are learning and that’s the great thing. In our retail account endeavors we’ve made great connections with local Common Market and Reid’s Fine Foods. These two companies bend a good ear to local businesses.
We’ve been trying to break into some other retail engagements but the more you deal with “corporate” the more you end up repeating yourself, a larger lag time occurs, and a general uncaring seems evident which is sad. Even if you’re big you should empower the local sides of your business to be flexible.
Private labeling is new territory for us too. A fast growing local business wanted to support us and we’ve started pilot testing of some chocolate in their stores under their branding. We certainly hope their audience likes what we’ve delivered! More “secrets” for The Secret Chocolatier!
For all intents and purposes retail has been a lot of fun! We are about to start some regular demos supporting our brand, products, and those who host us. If you would like to learn more about our products in your store, or curious about a unique product for your own brand get in touch.
Chocolate School is Not Out
No Summer break for us. There is so much more to learn and do. I step back from all the fine grained details and I can see thousands more in the distance. We’re just now starting to talk about looking for a kitchen of our own, maybe the glimmer of a little showroom. Evolving to those ideas will take so much more work it almost makes me light headed.
For me, I am lucky. I have great chocolate and a good family.