Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tip #152: Give Thanks

When is the last time you took a moment to stop and consider how lucky you are to be in the candy business, making people happy with your sweet treats? We’re going to guess that since we’re in the rush of the holiday season it’s been a while. So, in light of Thanksgiving being this Thursday in the U.S., this week’s tip is to take just a moment to make a list of items for which you are thankful.

This list is yours so you can name whatever you want, from people to things to jobs to places. If you want to increase your overall health and level of happiness, you could even make a purposeful attitude of gratitude part of your weekly or even daily routine! Numerous studies have revealed that those who take a moment to write down the good things about their life feel better about their lives as a whole, are happier and are even found to be more connected with others.

So, put everything on hold and take a moment to name five things for which you are thankful. You won’t regret it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tip #151: Get Employees to Flip Large Moulds

It is almost the season for making life-size chocolate Santas. Ok, we realize they aren’t really life-size but some of the pretty large ones could definitely be life-size for a child!

Either way, this week on the blog we have a small but useful tip to help you evenly distribute the chocolate in your life-size moulded Santa Claus. Since these huge moulds aren’t likely to fit on a mould spinner, most candy makers seem to have a special way of spinning and flipping the moulds to be sure the chocolate doesn’t all gather on one side as it hardens. To help with this process our tip is to make a rule for your staff that each time they walk by the mould they need to flip it.

Be sure every staff member knows and understands the reason for this rule is to evenly spread the chocolate inside the mould to help ensure they’ll follow it. Additionally, it would be wise to assign a staff member to be in charge of ensuring the mould is flipped on a regular schedule. For example, if it needs to be flipped every five minutes and no one walks by for 10 minutes, this staff person would be the one to flip it at the five minute mark. It would probably be helpful to have a pen and paper chart nearby for staff to initial and write the time when they flip the mould.

By involving all staff to flip your extra large moulds you’ll be creating a team environment where everyone pitches in, in addition to adding an element of quality control,  

P.S. This tip came from our Mechanics of Chocolate Moulding education course held last fall. Attend RCI’s next education course, Chocolate Boot Camp®, by registering online today at retailconfectioners.org/bootcamp.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tip #150: Promote Small Business Saturday®

Thanksgiving is just around the corner which means that Small Business Saturday will be here soon as well! This week’s tip is to take advantage of the free tools created by American Express® to let everyone know that your candy store is a great place to shop local on Saturday, November 29.

Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate local businesses by encouraging everyone to shop local on one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Visit the Small Business Saturday website to create personalized marketing materials to use on your website, social media and in your store to promote your small business as a fantastic place to shop local.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tip #149: Create Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Can you believe we’re just three weeks away from Thanksgiving in the U.S.? That’s why this week’s tip is to help your customers celebrate Thanksgiving by selling fall-themed chocolate and candy centerpieces in your store.

The varieties and options for centerpieces are endless! One of our favorites is a chocolate cornucopia decorated with chocolate leaves and filled with chocolates and dried fruits (see photo above). While this centerpiece is an obvious investment of time, it sure makes for a beautiful display!

Another more simple idea is to create different sizes of trays or platters filled with your chocolates. Be sure to use a wrapping of some sort to make it feasible for the customer to transport the centerpiece to their home. We have also seen numerous sizes of turkey moulds used to create Thanksgiving centerpieces. Some candy makers sell the moulded chocolate turkey on its own while others may incorporate the turkey as the center of their trays and platters.

You could also consider trying a new twist on topiaries by covering a foam sphere with truffles (on top of parchment paper) and securing the sphere on a large candlestick. Or, make Thanksgiving-themed cake pops and create a centerpiece display out of them.

If your customer is buying a centerpiece it is because he or she likely cares very much about presentation, particularly on the Thanksgiving table. Therefore, provide something beautiful – and delicious – that customers will be proud to show off to their guests.