Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chocolates

Chocolates, chocolates, chocolates. This time of year, our house is transformed into a chocolate factory. We make thousands of chocolates. It is a tradition that I sometimes want to abandon, but it is something that Keith loves to do and looks forward to every year. It is an annual project that we do together. Sareny is already asking if she can help.

It all began about 10 years ago when we started making orange sticks to give away to friends and family for Christmas. Over the years, we have added thin mints, carmel pecan patties, peanut butter bon bons, english toffee, peanut clusters, chocolate covered cherries, and other candies. If any of you know us very well, you know that we tend to go overboard with crafts and projects. Soon we were buying fancy boxes and packaging for the chocolates and spending more and more money on this annual project. We were encouraged by all of the wonderful comments about the chocolates. Our friends told us they looked forward to the white box with the red ribbon every year. A couple even asked to purchase them to give to their friends.


That only encouraged us (Keith) to do more. Last year we started telling people that we sell chocolates and managed to recoup our costs, including the ones we gave away. This year a friend of mine invited us to participate in her annual Avon sale (thanks Heidi). This was the first time we started marketing our chocolates to those besides friends and family. This has made us start thinking of ways to expand.

For example, we celebrated Veterans' Day by making six "world's best" caramel recipes. We wanted to find out which recipe was really the best. We invited a family over to sample them and Keith took them to work for his coworkers to do a taste test. It was a close contest, but we think we have decided on a winner.

I often think we are crazy with our projects and this sort of activity just affirms those thoughts.

11 comments:

Sam said...

What a cool project! They look very professional and probably taste better than most things we get at the mall or store. What a wonderful tradition to share as a family. Love, Sam

hillari said...

I just wanted to write a disclaimer here and say that Keith actually composed this post and wrote it from my point of view. I am not kidding.

Meghan said...

ok, that is too funny about keith.

as a fellow chocolatier, we go through the same thing every year, wanting/not wanting to deal with it, but it's tradition for us. and everybody loves the homemade-ness of the gift, so it's worth it. good luck with the sale, i am sure you will be a big success.

Alayna said...

I know that I think your chocolates are awesome and I look forward to them every year. I think it's wonderful that you are marketing them to recoup your costs!
Good luck! I know you will do very well!

cassidy said...

Do you guys ship to Hawaii? Haha, just kidding. I'm sad we won't get to eat any pecan clusters or peanut butter bon bons this Christmas!

This is something that someday you are going to look back on and be really glad you always did it. Especially now that Sareny is old enough to start helping out. It will be something that she will always remember - I'll always remember helping mom out with Poppyseed bread at Christmas time. Anyways, we will sure miss your chocolates this year!

debra g said...

Your chocolate are the bomb! We have been happy recipients for several years and hope that continues for many, many more years!

lexi said...

i cant wait to come eat your chocolates at thanksgiving. you better have some for me to eat. i want some ping pong patties.

THE O'NEILL FAMILY said...

Yummy! They are so good! I like the "ping pong patties" too! :)

holli jo said...

This post made me laugh, simply because I'm picturing Keith writing it out from your perspective. So silly!

And you better save us some chocolates. Loooooooots, as Sareny would say. :)

Melanie said...

hmm I think I'd like to get my hands on that caramel recipe

Téa said...

Re: Disclaimer
It would explain my eyebrow raise while reading a sentence like "It is a tradition that I sometimes want to abandon, but it is something that Keith loves to do and looks forward to every year." It was just a little off from your style, or what I perceive as such anyway.

I like the expansion example-- can't wait to see what other delicious ideas you two whip up.

The chocolates are amazing, honestly, probably the best part of my anniversary this year! I'm so happy I bought them!!!