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First Chocolate Show


RWood
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I participated in my first chocolate show in Santa Cruz this weekend. It went very well, but I ran out of samples at two hours in. It was a fundraiser, and we were asked to donate 500 samples to be part of it. I had people coming back for seconds and thirds, so I think that's why I ran out early. It was only a 4 hour event.

It was a good trial run, I will be in the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon in March.

Here are a few pics.

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Great attention to detail there! I really like how everything coordinates with your packaging.

One trick for samples is to save some of your defective items that cannot be recycled into new candy. If you cut the pieces into halves as samples (another trick to stretch the budget) you can often hide/eliminate flaws or just discard a bad half.

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Fabulous looking stock! Totally professional display.

Was it strictly fundraising or were you able to sell too?

We were able to sell, too. Didn't sell much, but a little. I didn't expect to sell a lot, I was just glad to get out there and get some exposure and I did get some good contacts. So, it was worth it.

And thanks for all the nice comments. Didn't really have a clue how this display was going to come together, but I was happy with it. I received many compliments on it.

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Nice presentation. For samples we cut up chocolates, and I also use little 5 gram cups and put left over ganache in them. That works great and the samples will go a long way. For people to keep coming back for samples and not purchasing is "wrong" but that is human nature. I would encourage all the chocolatiers to really look at an event and determine if it is truly worth it to attend. Will it bring you more business? I could be busy all the time doing events but if it doesn't produce results then it isn't worth my time. It is also a process of experience to know what to attend or not attend.

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Oh, I agree about the samples, using rejects and all. This being a first show, I decided to do normal pieces, and I saw several others doing the same. But, this show wasn't that big, and I know the SF Choc. Salon is going to be beyond crazy. That is where I'm going to use cut up pieces and maybe some type of bark. I don't plan on doing a lot of shows, but since I am starting out, I'm going to do a couple more this year, and then see what happens.

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Hi Robyn,

Your chocolates look amazing. I didn't know the Santa Cruz festival was this soon. Darn I missed it. About the Chocolate Salon in March, I went last year and wow there are a lot of people that attend. I don't know if you went last year or not, but if you have molds that are a smaller shape you can use those as samples too. I have a mold that has 45 cavities I have 3 of those same molds so I can make a lot of sample with those as well. The other suggestions are great too. I'm going so hopefully I'll get to see you there.....

Rena

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