Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I WON THE COOKIES and ....The Trials of Developing a CHOCOLATE BUSINESS

I was the very lucky lady that won
this Sweet Cheeks Bakery giveaway! on Nancy's Daily Dish.

Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!
You just can't imagine how delicious these
cookies from Sweet Cheeks Bakery are!!
They are oatmeal with almonds, cranberries and white chocolate and
Oh MY GOODNESS they are sensational. They absolutley melt in your mouth.
And they shipped beautifully too.
I can't wait to try some of the other cookies they offer.
You need to order some right away.
Just click on Sweet Cheeks Bakery and order up.
We get together on Monday nights with a group to study the
Scriptures and then we have a little snack afterwards.
Some of those that come are diabetic so we have to be
certain we provide something they can enjoy too.

So we offered fresh pears and yogurt
with berries and home made granola.

But of course I always have to provide a little chocolate from
Continental Chocolatier.
These are the Petite Tortoise (turtles in the vernacular of the public)
and Tortoise Shells - Dark or Milk Chocolate w/dried fruit and nuts.
Oh so very yummy!Check every now and then at our website to order your favorites.
Each year I harvest enough grapes
from our yard to bottle 50 or 60 quarts of juice. Some times I add
a little Sparkling Juice for more interest. Tonight it is Sparkling Pear.
I love the beautiful pink color of the juice. It really is delcious.

Trials in Developing a Chocolate Business

We found a fabulous Chocolaier in Los Angeles and we were ready to give it a go. It seemed like there were several hotels interested in my ideas for their guests but none had ordered as yet. I had called on about 25 hotels (it seemed like thousands) but none had ordered and I was beginning to think I was mistaken about the interest I thought I had created. I came home one night ready to call it quits and look for a job selling wigs or something. (I had done that before and it was the one of the worst experiences of my life....and that is another chapter in my book)

There was a message on the answer phone from one of the upper class hotels in NewportBeach. He WANTED 500 boxes of our chocolates. I could hardly believe my ears. I met with him the next day and he gave me the order. I only had about 2 weeks to put the order together. Now this could present a serious problem. He wanted a specific box that was not readily available and I had to get it fast. I had to look for a space where we could package the product.

Can you believe I would start a business and not have a work place? Well I did, and it caused me great tribulation. To the rescue came my daughter Karin, (The Style Sisters,) and her boss offered us space in his building. Yeah! Of course we had no employees at this time so what does one do in that event, call on family. My darling children Tiffany, (The Childrens Nest), my darling son Tim and his wife Liz, all came to my rescue.

We ordered the chocolate from our chocolatier and received the boxes one day before we had to deliver them. Our chocolatier had shorted us on the chocolates and we had to buy 1/4 pound from Sees to finish the boxes. That was great. After I had convinced our client that European chocolate was extremely superior to American chocolate (which it is) I added Sees?

Don't get me wrong, I like Sees product a lot, but I love and adore European chocolate. There is no comparison. Fortunately for us they never noticed and reordered many times after that. We never had to resort to our former subtrufuge.

We were now getting serious about this chocolate business and knew we needed a space where we could have a legitimate kitchen with refrigerators, sinks and stainless steel tables , etc., and an office. We were really uptown now.

We were offering an assortment of bon-bons and truffles that were exquite and we could hardly keep up with the orders. I should say our Chocolatier could hardly keep up. We really needed a space of our own. He made them, we sold and delivered them. Pretty slick.

One day as my husband was waiting at the Chocolatier's place of business to place an order he happend to notice that inside one of the large commercial refrigerators that had a glass door, a live cat sitting inside on one of the shelves. He left without ordering and returned to our place of business to inform me that from now on we would be making our own products.
WHAT?!!!!! We had an order for about 5,000 golfball truffles for the Dinah Shore Open in Palm Springs.
What in the world was he thinking?
We had taken a course in chocolate making but we had not done anything with it, as of yet. I had always loved to cook and experiment with chocolate but..........

Stay tuned for the next frightening episode.

I am participating in Thursday Tablescape


Nancy said...

I cannot wait to read your next installment about your chocolate business. I am not a cat person and I would have totally freaked had I seen a cat in the fridge of food product I was about to purchase and resell. Seems it would open a whole can of worms. Your story sounds fascinating and I'm totally intrigued. Isn't it funny how things turn out? I never thought I'd have anything to do with business and it's just evolved...I have a story to, just not sure I want to blog it yet.
I like See's candies...they don't have them here but they rent a kiosk at the mall each year and I make a special point to stop in and pick up some candies. I've ordered online several times also. I love chocolate but I admit I'm no connoisseur...I have always heard that Euro chocolates were the best.
I suppose I'll have to find some and try them out!

So glad you got your cookies from Sweet Cheeks. Aren't they yummy? There are a few more I want to try. Those that you got were my kids favorites. I loved the lime ones!

Your table looks so nice. That juice is pretty and I'm sure tastes so wonderful being fresh!

Have a nice night,


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, what a lovely display! And how special you all must feel to have a tablescape this pretty for your Bible Study group! I think it's wonderful that you treat yourselves to a lovely evening like this! And those cookies! YUM!

Happy Tablescape Thursday!


Sheila :-)

Dining Delight said...

Your 'scape makes me want to voluteer to host the Bible Study our church has! Looks delish and presented so wonderfully! Fascinating story of how your business has evolved! Looking forward to Part 2. "cat in the fridge" - how strange!


Cynthia@ITLLDO said...

Love your continuing saga, as well as your delightful tablescape. Can't wait for the next episode of each!

kayellen said...

ooohh yum!!Those rasberries look incredible!!
Happy Tablescape Thursday:)))

Kay Ellen

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Oh my! What a delightful post! This has my mouth watering.

Miss Merry said...

I love your snack following your bible study - amazing!!!!! And all that juice, you are a busy woman. And now the chocolate story. I can't wait to hear the rest.

Rettabug said...

Your entire table makes my ♥ sing! So many wonderful items & so beautifully displayed! BRAVO!

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