One Year In The Chocolate Business – Are We Still Happy?

This October marked the one year anniversary of the public launch of The Happy Chocolatier. It seems just a short time ago that we were developing our signature Cubze and writing the business case for The Happy Chocolatier. Now, a year later, we have a lot under our belt – not simply the extra few pounds, but the valuable learning from our mistakes and successes.

This first year has been a great learning experience. As we pause to think about what has happened vs. what we have yet to achieve, it is hard to believe all the items on the long list of new experiences and projects that the team has accomplished. After building the plan, securing financing and building out the facility, we then tackled the development of a full line of chocolate products and gifts. We didn’t just hire people, we created a culture and developed team of associates who work together to provide high-quality products and a memorable experience. And none of the team ever worked with chocolate before. On the back end, we mastered a variety of new software programs to run the business and developed processes to make the business run smoothly (or as smoothly as one can in a few months’ time). We learned very quickly which marketing levers were most effective and now understand first-hand the power of social media.  We’ve had our share of mistakes, yet we’ve managed to learn from them and move forward.

It has been very satisfying. We had an idea and brought it to life. We built a business from nothing. And it is clear others appreciate what we’ve done. That appreciation has been expressed in many ways:

  • Many repeat customers who not only frequent our shop, but recommend The Happy Chocolatier to friends
  • Consistently positive comments about our products from our signature Cubze to our boxed assortments to fun items like chocolate covered pretzels and peppermint bark bars
  • Many followers on Facebook and Twitter plus those who’ve signed up to hear from us through our newsletter. People want to talk with us and hear from us about chocolate. How great is that?
  • Compliments about The Happy Chocolatier team and the experience that they’ve help create for our customers
  • Continued support from our local community

So, yes we are indeed happy with our venture!

As we move into our second year, we want to build on the strong foundation we’ve created despite the economic uncertainty. We know first-hand that people love chocolate. Many view chocolate treats as affordable indulgences that might even have some health benefits. Well, we want to continue serving our customers today and new customers in the future. We will expand our product line, streamline the ways in which we do business, and reach out to new customers by marketing our retail store, highlighting our mail order services, selling our chocolates through other outlets and providing a first-rate product for corporate gift giving.

Many, many thanks to our employees, family, many friends (new and old) and our loyal patrons for their support! We sincerely hope that The Happy Chocolatier is indeed bringing some bit (or bite) of happiness to your lives as it has to ours.

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