I’m often asked what chocolate holiday is the busiest. My answer is always “…the one we are working on at the moment”. Right now, it’s Valentines Week. I am starting my 14th year as a chocolatier. Lucky for me, chocolate gift giving is predictable and I keep good records from year to year. My husband tells my employees that when I am making the truffle fudge for The Chocolate Walk the first week in December, I am already ordering the boxes I will need for Valentines. He’s right.
The amount of chocolate we go through during our busy chocolate holidays doesn’t make itself in one day. It takes months of careful production and packaging and planning to make everything come out as smooth as… well… chocolate. Each holiday has a different flow of customers during the week or two (or three) leading up to the ACTUAL DAY of celebration.
I tell people that December is our busiest month. A big majority of the chocolate we sell are repeat corporate customers that order a month ahead. At that time of year, one person will come in and pick up 200 boxes of chocolate that we spent a week working on. Order on the phone = walk in the door = walk out with their finished order. BOOM!
During Valentines week… EVERY day, 200 people will come and walk out with one (or two or three) boxes of chocolate. I know which days most of the customers will be walking in the door and picking the assorted boxes of chocolate off the shelf and walking to the counter with a smile. Five minutes = we were ready for you = DONE. I know what day our older customers will come in and stand at the case, carefully choosing each flavor of chocolate that each grandchild likes. Six different boxes. Packaged on the spot. Ribbon Tied. Twenty minutes = we were ready for you = DONE.
We are done making the chocolate. What we have, is what we have. But, we won’t run out. I know that we will go through five times as many pounds of Sicilian Sea Salt Caramels as any other chocolate that we offer. We’re ready for you. We’re putting together the boxes now. We are filling the case. I know that February 12th and 13th and 14th, the door will constantly open and close and open and close and open and close… and open… and there will always be people lined up at the counter. Boxes of chocolate in hand. Thank you for loving our chocolate.
And while I am tying those pretty ribbons on your valentine boxes this week? I am planning for Easter. It’s early this year = April 1. Hop Hop… I’m ready for you.