Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tip #156: Meet Up With RCI in 2015

The New Year always holds a glimmer of promise. And it’s no different here at Retail Confectioners International (RCI). We’re excited for the coming year and hope that you will plan to join us at one of our events. That’s why this week’s tip is to meet up with RCI in 2015!

  • February 23-26 – Chocolate Boot Camp® – This popular education course provides a great foundation for working with chocolates. We accept a maximum of 25 students and, with five instructors, it provides a great student-to-teacher ratio and plenty of hands-on learning opportunities.
  • April 21-25 – Mid-Atlantic Chocolate Tour  - One of our members’ favorites events are our bus tours. We load up on coach buses and tour an area, stopping to go on behind-the-scenes tours of candy stores along the way. Join us for this bus tour as we go from Baltimore to Washington, DC and then end in Ocean City, Maryland.
  • June 22-26 – Annual Convention & Industry Expo – We’re excited to be in Brooklyn, New York for our biggest event of the year. From the FREE confectionery industry expo to quality education sessions and networking to behind-the-scenes tours, it’s an event you won’t want to miss!
  • September 14-17 – Fall Regional Conference – The year will have a beautiful ending as we gather in Portland, Maine. It promises to include more great networking and education opportunities.
Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on RCI happenings. We’ll see you in 2015! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rewind to Tip #104: Take a Break and Enjoy Your Loved Ones

Last year’s tip on Christmas Eve was a great reminder that we could all benefit from. So, we’ve decided it’s a good one to repeat:

December 24, 2013

Today is Christmas Eve!

While we know you are likely still working hard to get your customers home with their favorite sweet treats for their families, today’s tip is to enjoy Christmas with your own loved ones. When you walk out the door of your office or store today, take a deep breath and leave everything else behind you to deal with on December 26 (or whenever you return to work). Focus on being 100% present to enjoy this special season with the ones you love most.

Merry Christmas, sweet friends!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tip #155: Check Your Temper

This week’s quick tip? Check your temper!

While we don’t want you to have a temper tantrum during the peak of the holiday season, we’re actually referring to checking the temper of your chocolate. As production aims to keep up with the demands of the holidays, it may be easy for production staff to get sidetracked and assume your chocolate is well-tempered and ready to move into the assembly line. However, not keeping a close eye on your chocolate’s temper is a costly mistake.

Many of our candy making members have a system in place to verify their chocolate’s temper every hour. While verification processes may vary, just be sure that you have a process in place, even if it is a simple pen and paper system.

How often do you check your temper? Leave us a comment below!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tip #154: Optimize Point of Sale Purchases

As customers come into your store this month, they’re likely on the hunt for gifts for a variety of people. Therefore, this week’s quick tip is to place something small such as a single packaged chocolate covered cookie or moulded item that can be added to their purchase at the checkout counter. Be sure it’s packaged with a nice bow or ribbon so that it draws them in as a stand-alone gift item.

If placed and priced correctly, point of sale items such as this can significantly increase your store’s holiday sales. Now, go review your checkout counter to be sure you have a small item available for customers!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tip #153: Use Pistachios in Nougat

As has become our custom on the RCI Tip of the Week blog, we’ll make the posts quick and brief this month for you since we know it’s a very busy time of year for candy makers.

For this first quick tip, we are encouraging you to think outside of the box when it comes to nuts in your confections, specifically nougat. For example, consider using pistachios in your holiday nougat for a fun and different color and flavor enhancement. Chef En-Ming Hsu provided this idea during her nougat demonstration at our recent Fall Regional Conference, and many attendees commented on how great the pistachios tasted as well as how beautiful they were.

If you have other fun uses for pistachios in confections, leave us a comment below!