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Sometimes a Hail Mary works out

Summer can be a slow season for chocolate shops. Customers crave refreshing treats, and chocolate sales dip. But we're embracing the challenge!

This blog post explores our strategies for navigating seasonal fluctuations and shares an exciting new partnership that's helping us grow.

Sometimes a Hail Mary works out

Summer is a quiet period for us chocolatemakers. We usually shift focus to ice cream, ice drinks, and well, iced anything. This helps boost cash flow in a season where people would prefer beer and a sandy beach to hang out at. 

Every year I am met with the same inner feeling of butterflies in my stomach. Sometimes to many butterflies they turn to knots. I wonder if it will ever get busier (it does) and if we’ll ever get comfortable with such a seasonal business (I now think we will). 

we’re still in our first year at the new space. October will be 1 year since opening this 4000sq ft space and 1 year since our rent is quadruple what we were used to paying. Basically across the board, all expenses have risen and I am just getting a solid feel of where to expect them. It is likely what’s causing the nerves to creep in at all hours. 

Sometimes these nerves turn to doubt, and other times to action. I have been choosing action and pushing forward on some big partnerships and goals around the shop. This brings me to my most recently Hail Mary. Now, normally I would consider a Hail Mary a last ditch effort to make something happen, but I see it more as a big play leading to a big shift. Let me explain.

we have a potential partner with rather large chocolate consumption (400kg/month). This is more chocolate than our whole business made less than 1 year ago, so it’s rather significant. If we want to move away from reliance on Christmas or other chocolate seasons, these accounts matter. And it’s been a slow burn, getting them on board but now we’re in the final stretch. So, yes, that Hail Mary…

We are making a custom chocolate for them, that changes their baking completely. At first they thought it was something we can change in our process before I informed them it was the different sugar we use for their chocolate. So, they’re busy, and cannot take on R&D at this time and I offer to help. So, we are creating new iterations of their beloved recipes to make them look and taste as close to the originals as we can. 

Now I’m not a baking pro, but love precision so I’ve taken a bit of a shine to this, but it’s still a big undertaking with a tight timeline. I’m feeling good about this one, and every test makes me think those Hail Mary attempts are well worth it, whether they work or not. If they do (🎉🎉) and if not, you’ve pushed yourself further than you thought and your knowledge base grows (for that I’ll give it a 🎉). 

If you read this, push yourself from time to time, even when the gap seems impassable. You may be surprised at the result. 

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