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Hitting the Chocolate Ceiling?

You’ve heard of the expression “the sky’s the limit”? That’s true even in chocolate! The US Chocolate Master finals were held in Chicago this January. Victorious chef Jean-Francois Suteau crafted a chocolate showpiece so tall that the ceiling tiles in the competition hall had to be removed to accommodate his winning sculpture.

While we haven’t crafted a bon bon wedding tower quite that tall yet, I imagine it will happen for South ‘n France soon enough--we certainly had shipping boxes stacked to the ceiling this December!

With our seventh anniversary falling in February 2013, I’ve been thinking about our chocolate “ceiling” as a small, artisanal company.  We’ve come a long way since those first few years in business.  For example, when we first started the company, we ordered no more than 5,000 bon bon foils at a time.  5,000 foils seemed to last forever in those early days, but our supplier required that quantity as a minimum order.  Likewise, when it came to ordering bon bon tins, we stuck to the bare minimum--24 tins (just one case) at a time.

In contrast, at the beginning of our 2012 holiday season, I ordered 27,000 foils in which to wrap our bon bons, and they're all gone.  In fact, I just placed an order for more to prepare us for our Valentine's Day rush.  As for our tins, this December we ordered multiple cases daily.

Take a look at the top 100 chocolate companies worldwide, and you'll see that even the smallest ones on the list have nearly 200 employees, whereas we have only two full-time staff members, not counting elves, fairies and cupid.  International Goliath, Nestle, has more than 400 manufacturing plants and close to 300,000 employees.  We may have come a long way, but we've still got a long way to grow.  And, as Chef Jean-Francois Suteau and this recent chocolate report has shown us, the sky is indeed the limit!  Please wish us as well as embark on our 7th year in business and plan for future growth.  We hope that one day you'll be saying:  "We knew them when..."

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