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Wendy DeBord

Chocolate brands

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Stephen--thanks for opening the door a little wider as far as how you do business--and how you view the nature of your business. Your courage to address certain issues publicly and specifically is to be applauded.

If more salespeople and distributors had specific answers to specific questions when asked--rather than typcially replying "I'll check and get back to you"--and didn't make working pastry chefs jump through hoops to get pricing and/or "special" deals--we'd all be a lot better off. It sounds to me like you're rising above the status quo.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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If more salespeople and distributors had specific answers to specific questions when asked--rather than typcially replying "I'll check and get back to you"--and didn't make working pastry chefs jump through hoops to get pricing and/or "special" deals--we'd all be a lot better off. It sounds to me like you're rising above the status quo.

I roger that.

Worse than the "I'll get back to you on pricing." is the "Sure, I'll send you the information" (say the various chocolate lines they do carry) and it never arrives. I still cannot get the information on Guittard from my "local" purveyor/wholesaler which has now lapsed nearly two weeks. Geesz, I only want to spend money and purchase product from him! (Yes, for the restaurant).

Since I have to obtain it through mail ordered anyway, I may as well seek out some one else outside of the Cleveland area, in the midwest. :wink:

A tremendous thank you to those who have contributed to this thread with their opinions and thoughts. It really helps me when I try various chocolate brands and then taste them side by side -- either for home or at work. I appreciate all I have learned from reading the pastry forum. :smile:

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Who sells E. Guittard in the Chicago area, anyone know

The E.Guittard line of products is available in the Chicago area through Sotiro's Foods, Inc., which is in Bridgeview, IL. Phone number is 708-233-6097. Ask for Glynn. I also need to point out that Great Lakes Gourmet in Novi, MI has the E. Guittard line and in fact just got a fresh supply today.

Please if any of you have questions regarding distributors, Guittard products etc, feel free to email me and I would be delighted to help you in any way that I can.

Also for those of you that mentioned E. Guittard product samples were promised but never delivered, then email me and I will make sure that you get them.

We are trying to get our products into as many specialty distributors as possible but a word from you, the customers, goes a long way in helping them make that decision.

Thanks

Wes Phelan

Guittard Chocolate

wphelan@guittard.com


Edited by wes (log)

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Thanks Wes, for paying attention to our needs and trying to make sure that we have an open line to your product. It's great to have an avenue where we can get the people that can help involved in our discussions.

Tim


Timothy C. Horst

www.pastrypros.com

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Thanks Wes, for paying attention to our needs and trying to make sure that we have an open line to your product. It's great to have an avenue where we can get the people that can help involved in our discussions.

Hey no problem at all. I am just glad that I found this forum. Had it not been for a person who was attending the recent RBA convention in Orlando and stopped by our booth, I would never have found it.

I was quite serious about anyone emailing me for help. While I live in Texas and handle a southern territory for the company, I can always put you in contact with the right distributor in your areas and of course I will submit sample requests for you if needed.

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If more salespeople and distributors had specific answers to specific questions when asked--rather than typcially replying "I'll check and get back to you"--and didn't make working pastry chefs jump through hoops to get pricing and/or "special" deals--we'd all be a lot better off. It sounds to me like you're rising above the status quo.

Well I would be lying if I said that I hadn't used that line myself but I only use it if I don't know the answer and rather than give a customer a line of BS, I would rather research the answer before I put my foot in my mouth.

As for distributor salesmen I have to speak in their defense. Most food service companies carry thousands of products and its hard to know each and every one of those products inside and out. Added to that is the fact that its a cutthroat business and most of them are under the gun to move products, see as many customers as possible and take orders. What that means is that the good old days of customer service are going by the wayside and that is a tragedy.


Edited by wes (log)

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As near as I know, only Guittard, of all the major brands, lists not only the total cocoa percentage but the amount of extra cocoa butter they add. But last I saw, not all their labels had all this information.

You are correct. The E. Guittard line has both percentages listed but our core line does not. Our core line is marketed to bakers, confectioners and ice cream manufacturers and each of those segments has a different take on the vernacular we use. For example a confectioner is more concerned with the viscosity of a chocolate and less with the "cocoa mass", so when we talk to a pastry chef and then a candy maker we have to be able to switch gears quickly and talk their language.

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Wes,

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's awesome that you came here and so graciously offer your help.

Thanks again!


2317/5000

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Wes,

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's awesome that you came here and so graciously offer your help.

Thanks again!

LOL...you are making me blush.

Seriously its no big deal at all. I am a message board junkie and even own a few message boards related to college sports. I may not check this one every day but I will be lurking around if you need me. Of course you can always email me if needed

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I also need to point out that Great Lakes Gourmet in Novi, MI has the E. Guittard line and in fact just got a fresh supply today.

Please if any of you have questions regarding distributors, Guittard products etc, feel free to email me and I would be delighted to help you in any way that I can.

Also for those of you that mentioned E. Guittard product samples were promised but never delivered, then email me and I will make sure that you get them.

Thanks

Wes Phelan

Guittard Chocolate

Wow! Thanks, Wes. I didn't know that anybody at Guittard was watching our orders besides the guy who help us build our Guittard business, Kent Lyon. Guittard's Mr. Chocolate. And it will be sad to have his expertise leave the Mid-West for California someday soon.

We have handled E-Guittard since day one because it is a wonderful line of domestic chocolate and it fit right into our style of upscale chocolatier/pastry chef business. The nice thing about Guittard from a distributor point of view, is that it is a European quality domestic product but hasn't been subject to the daily price changes we see with our other chocolates due to the politics of the Euro currency, wars in the Ivory Coast, and vannila exploitation pricing. It is nice to have no price changes for two years in a row, instead of with every order as with European containers of chocolate.

The new line of "Origin Chocolates" is a great addition to Guittard, slowly picking up steam as it becomes recognized.

Guittard has been very good at sending our requests for samples and brochures to our customers. And you have a great set of recipe brochures with photo that is available.

Maybe I can meet you at the International Bakery Expo (IBE) in Las Vegas in August.


Tom Chaput

President/Owner

Great Lakes Gourmet

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Wow! Thanks, Wes. I didn't know that anybody at Guittard was watching our orders besides the guy who help us build our Guittard business, Kent Lyon. Guittard's Mr. Chocolate. And it will be sad to have his expertise leave the Mid-West for California someday soon.

The funny thing is that he used to be Ms. Chocolate but that surgeon did a heckuva job on her...er him. I get confused.

Seriously he is a good guy and is the one who was responsible for bringing me into the company.

As for the pricing structure, we usually hold our ground on pricing and dont react to market fluctuations quickly. Cacao beans are a commodity and bean prices change hourly when the market is open. Those kind of changes can make for an accounting nightmare if you change as often as the market. Heck when I started with Guittard in 1990 my price list was dated October 1988 and we didnt have a price change until 1993. Of course the market was in that 20 year low and we have had some pretty significant surges in that market since then but we have been successful in holding pricing until we simply had no other choice.

You are right on about our varietal line of chocolate. Its amazing to me how the same bean, albeit from 3 different countries, can have such different and distinct flavor notes but thats part of the beauty of the cocoa bean.

As of right now I wont be at the IBIE this year although that could change. Some folks thrive on trade shows but I would rather be in the field calling on customers.


Edited by wes (log)

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