Street Fair, Part II
After less than five hours of sleep, we woke up to get ready for the street fair. Our first order of business was to drive uptown to pick up a tent that a friend of ours was lending us. Once we got the tent, we drove down to 53rd and
Most of the setups were similar to ours. We had one large tent with a banner attached to the front displaying our logo and slogan. Inside the tent we had two tables, one in the front displaying all our chocolate, the other behind us which we used for storage.
Around ten o’clock a lot of people began to traffic the area. It being
We quickly began selling bars. We sold both our big bars as well as the small bars that we usually set aside for samples. The most popular bar was definitely the dark chocolate with strawberries. Other notable favorites included the milk chocolate bar with gummi bears and m & m’s, as well as the milk chocolate bar with almonds which we sold out of very quickly.
Overall, not only did we sell a lot of chocolate bars, but we had a great response from people who came by the tent. There were a lot of different types of chocolate lovers. Some were chocolate experts, who loved the taste of our dark chocolate. Some were candy fiends who couldn’t get enough of our milk chocolate with m & m and gummi bears. Others were simply blown away by how great the different ingredients looked on top of the different chocolate bars.
It was wonderful to see and hear the different responses people had to the ingredients we offered for their chocolate. A lot of people were amused when they saw chocolate with cherrios, were shocked when they bit into a chocolate bar with pop rocks and felt it explode in their mouths, and a few were a little grossed out by the idea of chocolate with bacon.
We spent the entire day selling chocolate and talking with people about our idea. The only break we had was when we grabbed some hot dogs from the local stand nearby, which Eric immediately regretted and proceeded to spend the rest of the day complaining about “how disgusting his water dog tasted”. It was also great running into our friends who lived in the city and were excited to see and taste our chocolate bars.
At the end of the day we packed up and said goodbye to our neighboring stands (we were never brave enough to try the barbikyu). It was really great not only being able to finally start selling actual chocolate bars, but also to hear the responses and advice people had to our chocolate. It was particularly nice whenever someone would return to our tent and say “I just had to come back to tell you how great your chocolate was”. If you did stop by our street fair, we appreciate you coming. We hope to see a lot of the same people not only at future street fairs, but also as customers to our online store where they can choose any ingredient they want for their chocolate!
Check out our pictures:
There have been many stressful and hair raising situations regarding the start up of our business. As one can imagine things rarely go according to plan, but luckily they often times seem to work out. That was the story of our Saturday. Saturday before our big street fair in
Our electrician arrived and began to start hooking up our "phase converter" which converts the local single phase electricity into the three phase which would efficiently power our large tempering machines. Things were plugging along nicely and then a new scare came up. The electrician feared that our machines may require too much energy and that our factory would turn off the lights of the other offices and facilities around us. This was not going to be a good option. We were told we might be able to run one machine but in order to run two we would have to sink thousands of additional dollars into increasing our power supply from the town, a process which would take weeks. Not exactly what you wanted to hear the night before our first big chocolate sale. Time was ticking and Nick was getting worried. After many back of the envelope calculations our electrician thought it could be done and we decided to give it a whirl. One machine worked... time to try the second. The breakers were switched on, the phase converter hummed and the tempering machines were switched on whilst an emotionally fragile Nick trembled with nervous anticipation. Eric stood stoically observing the situation with the cool confidence of a veteran of the custom chocolate industry. The LCD displays on the machines both came to life, illuminating our state of the art factory with their blue glow! Things were looking good.
"Thanks a lot" we said to the electrician "now its time to make some chocolate"! It was 1pm. As mentioned earlier we had worked with a version of these machines before so we were familiar with them and we thought we were ready to get right into things. However once all the equipment was set up the display was unresponsive. For whatever reason the machines were ignoring our commands. Was it because they did not respect Nick? Did they need an alpha male to tell them what to do? No such luck Eric had the same result. Hours passed, buttons pressed and pressed some more... nothing. Even Eric was starting to get worried. It was now 6pm and we still had 550 perfect chocolate bars to churn out with love for Sunday's street fair. Getting the machine to work was complicated by the fact that the manual which came with it was in Italian only. Not one member of the Chocomize staff speaks Italian. Some Spanish, German, Arabic, French maybe even a little English but no one speaks Italian. After trying every possible button combination etc Eric placed a small magnet that came with the machines by the side of the tempering basin. Open Sesame! The machine's LCD display told us our wish was their command. Apparently the magnet was a safety device installed recently to prevent machines starting without proper protection. A new addition we were not familiar with. Perhaps a response to the recent death in Pennsauken New
To be continued...