Mother’s Day: Chocolate? Flowers? What do moms really want?

You rack your brain trying to figure out what to get your mom for Mother’s Day– you do this in between running errands, picking up the kids, making dinner, running to a school event meeting, dropping off other kids, and doing the work at night that you didn’t finish at work. Now it’s Friday, May 8th and you’re still stuck…what to do?

As a busy mom myself, I’ve been thinking about this. What would I love from my kids and what should I get my mom? A really great idea is the gift of time. Spend some time with your mom, no distractions, no games, grocery shopping or other craziness; just time together, one-on-one or as a family. Certainly, a gift to say thanks for always being there, helping out, and loving us unconditionally is a thoughtful idea, too.

As you read this, you might be thinking, “But they own a chocolate shop, where’s she going with this?”

If I got a little extra time for myself at the start of the day and then spent some of Mother’s Day with my family and mother, I’d be happy. A gift of chocolate – or maybe some flowers – would top off a fantastic day.

We spend so much time and energy doing everything and enjoying so little, in comparison, because we’re always in a rush. Take a breather, hang out with your kids, your mom, your grandmother. Maybe have a meal together, talk and enjoy each other. Finish out the day with great dessert. Savor the day and the time together like a smooth piece of milk or dark chocolate melting in your mouth. Slow down and enjoy it.

Happiness and the Economic Downturn

I’ve come across article after article stating the obvious, like these in the Baltimore Sun and Insight. The economic downturn has negatively impacted the happiness of the general population.

I’ve experienced this first-hand working with many executives who were “down-sized” as companies reduced their overhead costs. After leaving my job of 14 years when my company shrank its workforce, I had a choice to make – be unhappy or push back. I decided to create some happiness. This is why my company name is The Happy Chocolatier and not something else. Over many years, I found that giving people chocolates made them happy. So, I decided to start a business that not only made me happy, but enabled me to make others happy. In the coming months, I hope that my chocolates – especially our Fudge Cubze which each contain a statement about happiness – provide people a bit of joy. So, this blog not is not so much a shameless plug (though I clearly sell chocolates), but hopefully a reminder to those already giving gifts to give a “bite or two of happiness.”

My Favorite Chocolate Halloween Story

For me Halloween is all about the chocolate. I was never a fan of sugary sweets, but always loved chocolate. Well, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. One of my favorite Halloween stories is about taking my older son trick-or-treating around the neighborhood several years ago. We were just a few houses away from our home and our nice neighbor offered a basket full of sugary gummy candies.  My son looked up with a total deadpan and politely said, “No, thank you, I only like the chocolate ones.” At first I was mortified as we were new to the neighborhood at the time. But then I realized my son was just like his dad. And that brought a smile to my face.

If you have a memorable Halloween story that makes you happy, you are welcome to share it with us.

Happiness statements from kids and teens – truly inspirational!

At our store Grand Opening in Acton, MA, we invited customers to share happiness statements with us. We hope to use some of them in our Fudge Cubze and offered to give the winner a large box of them. I assumed that those providing thoughts on happiness would be mostly adults. Was I ever wrong; the most profound of the statements were from kids and teens, such as:

– Happiness is not a reward, it’s a way of being
– Happiness is a path you can choose on your journey in life
– Happiness doesn’t mean everything’s perfect, you just see past the imperfections
– True happiness comes from the heart
– Happiness is friendship
– A world without happiness is like a cake without frosting

As I read these statements from the kids and teens, I was both inspired and touched by how they thought about happiness. Their thoughts didn’t address money, iPods, Wiis or other material things. Their statements were meaningful and thoughtful. In addition to this note, we’ll also be sharing some of the statements in our Fudge Cubze in the coming months.

If you have a statement about happiness that is on par with the thoughts of these kids and teens, please share it with us. Hopefully, they inspire you as much as they have me.


Why Fudge Covered in Chocolate?

Several folks have asked me, “Why cover the fudge in chocolate?” and “Why hand foil each piece?”  Well, being a big fan of chocolate and having sampled many types over the years, I decided that something was missing with traditional fudge. I enjoyed fudge, but never did like the presentation or the fact that many were really sugary and overly sweet.  I wanted to take fudge up a notch and decided that two critical areas needed to be addressed: the taste and the presentation.  So, my twist was to develop some really interesting flavors that would be rich and creamy (not sugary sweet) and then coat them in a complementary milk or dark chocolate, which adds to the flavor experience.  Additionally, we chose to offer individual chunky pieces and individually wrap them in colorful foil making for an eye-catching presentation. We even box them up in attractive collections for gift giving. Those that have sampled our Fudge Cubze tell us they taste like nothing they’ve had before and they love the packaging – specifically with gift giving in mind. The last aspect of our twist is that every Fudge Cubze comes with an inspirational statement about happiness!

This doesn’t mean that traditional slabs or tubs of fudge aren’t quite good – they are. Fudge Cubze are just a new twist on the traditional favorite.

Truly, The Happy Chocolatier

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 15, we host the Grand Opening celebration at our store in Acton. We wouldn’t be hosting this grand opening, if it were not for our excellent team of contractors, including:

– Howard Davis Carpentry, Howard & team, General Contractor
– Quintela Painting Company, Antonio Quintela & team
– Perry Plumbing, Gary Corey & sons
– McLeod Electric, Bill Morehouse & team

Not only are these men really great at what they do, but they are genuinely nice people. Each and every one them – and the members of their respective teams – did more than was “required” to help us get ready. For that, I am most thankful. All provided sound advice, worked long hours and helped me out of the occasional unplanned glitch. For example, our 400 pound ice cream freezer showed up a day early at 8:00

in the morning and I wasn’t at the store. Howard, Ben, Dan and Fred knew I needed an ice cream freezer. So, they signed for it, uncrated it and carried it into the store. That certainly wasn’t on their “to-do list!”

This build out experience could have been a real challenge. Instead, thanks to the mutual respect, dedication and sense of humor of these gentleman, I am truly The Happy Chocolatier!

Why “Chocolate, Happiness and Other Musings?”

Well, for me there has always been a tacit link between chocolate and happiness. Hence, the company name, The Happy Chocolatier. Chocolate makes me happy. Chocolate makes anyone I give it to happy. As I explored developing and launching my line of chocolates, Fudge Cubze, I decided that integrating happiness into the process was important. Fudge Cubze are really two treats in one – an excellent chocolate treat (if I do say so myself) and an inspirational statement about happiness with every piece.

As I was researching statements about happiness to include with the chocolates, I came across several that really speak to what I am trying to do:
– Some pursue happiness – others create it. — Anonymous
– Whoever is happy will make others happy, too. – Mark Twain.
– To have joy one must share it. Happiness was born a twin. — Lord Byron

Well, I am told that I’ve been sharing happiness with chocolate for well over 20 years now. And Fudge Cubze are my way of creating happiness with a new twist on chocolate and fudge.

I hope you enjoy Fudge Cubze and more so, enjoy sharing them with others to spread the happiness.

I welcome all comments on chocolate and/or happiness. This blog will cover more than just my chocolates…hence the name: “Chocolate, Happiness and Other Musings.”

If you would like to suggest a statement about happiness, please do. If we use your statement on happiness, we’ll send you a sampler box of our Fudge Cubze.