We've all been there:
Right before the ball drops, quietly thinking to yourself all of the plans you have to start eating better (again), start working out (again), and to start committing to a routine that helps you instead of hurts you. (HA!)
I'd like to hop on the bandwagon with everyone but candy is a tough business and, unfortunately, if you stop eating sugar you are ex-communicated. As much as I would love to join everyone in the race to self-help and health, I would like to keep my job. (Darn it!)
Phew! Now that I've got that off of my chest, let's catch up on stuff in the world of candy.
This time of year is always a relief. We've just about finished up our fourth quarter, which is rough for a lot of small businesses - especially when the majority of your business is more seasonal than not.
Our Christmas Collection knocked it out of the PARK this year. We had such a fun time creating this little stash of goodies. We completely recreated our whole assortment of candies for Christmas and it was a hit! What would you say was your favorite Christmas themed item? Mine had to be the Lumps of Coal. Who doesn't want to be sassy and give coal away to your bestie? What parent doesn't want to torment their child? Haha!
Every year we shut down our production facility right before Christmas Eve and return right after New Year's Day. It allows the folks who work with us to take a big breather and celebrate the year by having some free time. We had our annual holiday party last week and celebrated with good food, a Secret Santa gift exchange, and lots of laughs together. T'was a good way to end the year together and make way for whatever approaches us next year.
Our retail shop always peaks this time of year. December is by far our busiest month and our sales continue to grow every year. Our shop had the cutest Old World Christmas theme this year - sporting dark greens, deep reds, and of course our signature Gold Boxes to deck the halls. Linda is busy taking down the decor and preparing us for a fresh start. Thanks, Linda!
Now that we can't very well sell any candy with Santa and Rudolph anymore, it's time to start preparing our shelves for Cupid and all of his love arrows waiting to be shot. You remember: in the candy business, you've got to be 3 steps ahead of the game. We've got our Valentine's collection almost finalized and are building orders for our local and national retailers as I type. Whoop whoop!
This season can feel quite wild for the business too. Valentine's day is one of the most notorious chocolate holidays out there. Who isn't familiar with a heart shaped gift box full of little chocolate goodies? Did you know that this stems back to the 14th Century in England when the idea of courtly love flourished. By the 18th century, the day had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers & confectionery, and sending greeting cards, nobly named "valentines."
These days, handwritten greetings have moved into the hands of greeting card makers, and chocolates almost always come in something related to hearts, or Cupid, or doves.
I really appreciate that the holiday, as much as it's transformed, is still celebrated in the same way it almost always has been. The theme of the day is still the same, and everyone still gets to celebrate by giving treats and beautiful gifts to people that they love. How SPECIAL!
We're getting ready to put up our big ol' hearts and get our windows all fancied up with red, pink, and white. Lovers are preparing to rejoice, dinner reservations are being placed, and chocolate factories like us are cooking up a storm to fill those cute little heart boxes with mouthfuls of pure joy. It isn't all that easy making delicious goodies for the world and their sweethearts!
And just like that: right when we think we'll have a little break, we're diving head first into February.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the re-opening of group tours!
This year we're looking to open up our facility to be toured by those who wish to see what's behind our secret doors!
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