“The Confessions of The Secret Chocolatiers Wife”
– The Ciordia’s
The Secret Chocolatier family has spent an extra amount of time together recently reflecting on where we are and where we may be headed. What are the choices ahead of us and what part do we each feel called to fill? But more importantly here it is fall! All of the new seasonal flavors have been tested, tasted, and our final line up is out and being enjoyed by more and more smiling people. When all the time has been spent developing recipes, trying the different available local products in our recipes, tasting, balancing flavors to find the right balance, which is different for each flavor it is still all about the look of satisfaction and smile on the face of those who partake in these wonderful chocolates we all work hard to finish for each order, each market day and each special event.
But since this is part II, (if you haven’t read part I you may want to do that) I will move on in the telling of some of my own insights into where we are.
The Ciordia’s are our youngest daughter, Robin, and our son-in-law, Andy. While Bill and I were just moving along with our truffle making thinking this was a fun way to bring in some extra money, they said – this is such a great product and everyone who tries it loves it so “do you want to make this a real business”. We said “sure” (we’ll try anything) and that is exactly what they have done. They’ve taken the chocolate and gone forward with amazing commitment and determination. They have worked to get us into more markets and other venues and continue the push forward. Robin and Andy have gotten the word out to the rest of Charlotte and beyond to make this business happen.
Growing into the Chocolate Role
Over the past year, our daughter Robin has taken on more of a role in assisting her father in the kitchen. She does every step of the truffle making, and brownie dipping, and soon will be moving into learning the cakes. I guess you would call her the “Chocolatier’s Apprentice” . Watching us all around the kitchen with chocolate flying everywhere it does seem more like the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”.
Robin has always been an extreme chocolate lover and with that love of chocolate she has evolved into one who creates chocolates; just as her love for children led her to a career as a teacher. –And just to boast for a moment, she is and extremely gifted teacher, not just because she’s my daughter because as a former teacher and administrator I am extremely hard in judgments of other educators. If she wasn’t terrific I just wouldn’t say anything.
Then when she started doing some of the chocolate work with her father and learning so much, I realized I was seeing a whole new and bright future for her. Bill follows generations of family members who lived there lives as bakers and pastry chefs and when Robin said she would really like to keep the family tradition going we were really excited.
The Mad Hatter
Andy, my son-in-law, has a role in our business that I don’t think any of us could fill or do without. When people are first drawn to our table at the markets, they see photographs of our truffles and signs with logos that he has designed. Our website, marketing, photography, etc., everything that puts our business out for the public to see is done by Andy. Because of the great web design and getting connected with other chocolate sites we have seen our truffles travel to every corner of the country. The packaging for shipment is so well done by Robin and him that even truffles sent to Southern California in the middle of the summer arrived in perfect condition- to the delight of the recipient.
Andy has an amazing social network that seems to have tentacles reaching all across the Charlotte area, and maybe even the country. He works tirelessly to drive (or propel) us forward and continue our growth
Besides all of that he too is skilled in the making of our products. One Friday when we were trying to get everything finished for our Saturday markets and fill special orders he decided to nudge me a little and get me to dip some of the brownie pops. I broke a few (which we unfortunately were forced to eat) but he patiently continued to instruct me until I was able to do it.
I am now going to work on preparing the Chai for infusion into the next batch of chocolate truffles MMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!