Monday, June 1, 2015

Fun times for Ultimately Chocolate at the Manitoulin Trade Fair

This past weekend was a busy one. I was at the Manitoulin Trade Fair for three days of chatting, giving away chocolate samples, and getting out into the public to tell people about what I've been doing here on Manitoulin Island for the last five-plus years.

The samples were well received (are chocolate samples ever NOT well received?) and people really like the chocolate TOFFLE, which is a dark chocolate toffee wrapped around a milk chocolate truffle. Since I sell mainly through retailers, it was a fun experience for me to see how people react to this unique style of chocolate, and to find out what their favourite flavour is.  I love all three flavours (hazelnut, peanut butter and peppermint), but it seemed that all my regular customers each had their own preferred flavour.

The BEST part was when a few local children gave back their free CARAMILK chocolate bar (given out by another vendor) in order for their mother to buy them a chocolate TOFFLE. That was by far the most satisfying part of the weekend - knowing that my unique creation was preferred by a child over an international top selling candy bar!

My Truffle Tarts are also a hit with the locals and cottagers - four different flavours of chocolate truffle in an all-butter shortbread crust. They have been building in popularity here on Manitoulin Island with customers of Loco Beanz Coffee Houses over the last few years, and more than once I heard customers say "I eat one of those for breakfast every day!".

The CacaoCookie and The Ultimate Chocolate Toffee are also gaining popularity.  I met many people from Sudbury (who cottage or vacation on the Island) who have tried my new products at the Fromagerie Elgin. There was great feedback on both brands.

So it seems my little chocolate business is growing, day by day. Sometimes, while working away alone in my commercial kitchen, it can seem like it is growing slowly, but then I get out to an event like this and see what I have created. Moments when I see how my chocolate can make people happy are motivating for a small business owner like me to forge on ahead.

So this is me, dishevelled and tired at the end of a long, but happy weekend of chatting about chocolate.

And now, I guess I should get into that commercial kitchen and make more chocolate! Onwards and upwards!