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Truffle Guy

One Year Later

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Last November I opened the doors to the shop and I think about 4 weeks later someone actually walked through them. It's been quite a year and it feels like I'm really just starting. I was lucky enough to have Dean & Deluca as a wholesale customer when I started and moved to more stores through the year. Our retail business was pretty minimal but we are located in an affluent area so although I had few customers some would spend $500-$1500 on holiday orders. Also, we were lucky enough to land a few nice corporate orders last christmas. But overall we spent the first year learning the business and focusing on improving the product and year two will be about actually working on turning some profits.

I really started my trek here on eGullet in 2004 and have learned a lot from this community. I've met some great friends too. All that being said we have some exciting things happening now that I'd like to share especially for those just starting out as I didn't even know what "temper" meant when I posted my first comment. I'm not trying to toot our own horn but rather share what can happen for those just starting.

I'm flying to NY next week as a finalist in The Next Generation Chocolatier competition. The theme was salty sweets and I submitted a piece that was a layer of mango pate de fruit over which I sprinkled a green chile infused sea salt and then topped with a layer of milk chocolate ganache with fresh lime, I then enrobed the piece in dark chocolate. It is a lot of flavors and textures but I thought it pulled together well. I think the most exciting part is that the judges did a blind tasting and were some people I really respect. The chocolatiers in the juding were Fritz Knipschildt and Kee Ling Tong. There were also judges from Blommer and Guittard and then finally buyers from Dean & Deluca and Bloomingdales. The awards dinner is Nov 5th and should be exciting.

We also will be announcing a collaboration with Teavana, an upscale tea company to do a collection of tea infused artisan chocolates that they will have in all 84 stores this holiday season.

We also will have another press release with another large wholesale partner that will be carrying our chocolates this holiday season.

One other exciting thing we did this year was making chocolates for Pope Benedict's visit. We made custom transfers for the occassion and 2 piece boxes were handed out and chocolates/pate de fruit were served at the dinner in his honor.

We were featured on "The View" as one of Whoopi's Must-Have items. It was very strange seeing your product on television.

We have a few other pending national television appearances in the works now....I'll share more as it comes to pass.

We FINALLY will have our website up in about 3-4 weeks with a crisp look and ecommerce.

As I said earlier, I've been hesitant in the past to say anything about some of the things that have happened but this is a great community and in Feb 2004 in the Chocolates with that Showroom Finish I can still read my first post. When I first met Chris Elbow (on egullet) I needed help and he was willing to push me in the right direction. I've tried to do the same whenever I can. The funny thing is I know now how little I really know and I'm excited about the future and really becoming a professional with an increasing knowledge. Anyway, it is exciting to see where we have come in a year and I'm curious what the next year will hold. Good luck to everyone else and I hope to hear of your success. -Bill

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Bill, first of all congratulations on the first year of your business/creature!!!

It seems like an impressive amount of success accomplished for the first year, I know that the work involved was incredible.

If I recall the first post I have read, you were already a pretty successful business man? How that help you on the start of the new business? I think the hardest part is to really know how a business work no matter the field we are in.

I am looking forward to see the web site and for the updates, I am sure this post will be an inspiration for all of us that are just starting, even if in a much smaller scale (for me at least).

Thank you and good luck!


Vanessa

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Last November I opened the doors to the shop and I think about 4 weeks later someone actually walked through them.

A terrific story and very interesting to read. It seems to me that one of the most important factors in starting a new business...been there, done that...is the courage to hold on when it all looks pretty discouraging. This you have done in spades and come through the other side. Congratulations! :wink:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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That's an incredible and inspiring story! Thank you for sharing and I wish you continued success.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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....in Feb 2004 in the Chocolates with that Showroom Finish I can still read my first post.  When I first met Chris Elbow (on egullet) I needed help and he was willing to push me in the right direction.  I've tried to do the same whenever I can.  The funny thing is I know now how little I really know and I'm excited about the future and really becoming a professional with an increasing knowledge.  Anyway, it is exciting to see where we have come in a year and I'm curious what the next year will hold.  Good luck to everyone else and I hope to hear of your success.  -Bill

I was just reading that thread last night. What a fabulous story, and it's lovely to read about the evolution of your success having just been reading your early posts here. This place is really such a treasure.

Congratulations!

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Congratulations, Bill!

I wish I didn't already have a commitment in NY that day, or I would travel in for the event.

My best wishes for your continued success, and if you come up north again, send me a PM and let me know where and when. If I'm free that day, I'll be there to root you on!

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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Much Congrats!!


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I also sort of opened my business last Nov- but it is still a small home run business. My desire is to grow with the business as I am not very business oriented by nature. I cannot fathom accomplishing as much as you have, especially being that I still consider myself a student in terms of chocolate making. Perhaps it is a confidence matter. I must admit wondering it is that I am not doing!!

I wish you a second successful year and much luck in the upcoming competition.

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Lior,

I've seen many of your posts and think you have done great, I'm very impressed with what you have done in such a short time. Don't sell yourself short, your passion and thirst for knowledge is very inspiring.

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I also sort of opened my business last Nov- but it is still a small home run business. My desire is to grow with the business as I am not very business oriented by nature. I cannot fathom accomplishing as much as you have, especially being that I still consider myself a student in terms of chocolate making. Perhaps it is a confidence matter. I must admit wondering it is that I am not doing!!

I wish you a second successful year and much luck in the upcoming competition.

I had the same reaction you did Lior - I can't fathom accomplishing that much either! But it also confirms to me that I'm making the right choice to keep my business small and on the side - I've come to realize I have no interest in being a full time chocolatier, and can't imagine devoting the amount of work and effort that Bill obviously has. Thinking about it gives me butterflies in my stomach!

Congrats Bill! I'm amazed at your accomplishments, and absolutely thrilled for you.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Congratulations, Bill. And the address of your website is ??????


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Congratulations, Bill.  And the address of your website is ??????

Here we go William Dean Chocolates.

Wow, Gorgeous Work! :biggrin:


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Wow! I love how much colour you use. It makes your case (and walls) look beautiful!


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Hi Truffle Guy!

I, too, have to say "Congratulations!!!" :biggrin: What you have done is not common at all!!! But, I do expect it from you. I don't know why, but, you just seem to be that person that will do large things. I have followed your posts, as I see a real person that is learning and evolving and is so honest and down-to-earth. I really want you to be successful, and I know that the others here do too!

Annette

http://www.chocolatesandthings.blogspot.com/

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The website is being built now.....not cheap.....and should be up in 3-4 weeks with full ecommerce and a clean, crisp look. It's pretty bare now but most of our work has been on the wholesale side.

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