We are happy that despite some challenges and mistakes, The Happy Chocolatier has indeed reached the milestone of making it through year two. Almost 90% of start-up businesses don’t make it to through the second year of business. Well, we are making headway thanks to our dedicated team, loyal customers and support from our local community. And, of course, our products are darn good!
The Happy Chocolatier team continues to deliver on our mission: To offer consumers an indulgent and affordable chocolate and ice cream experience that makes them happy. With our products and customer service, enable our guests to pass the happiness along by sharing the experience with others. As we strive to bring some happiness to others with what we do, we will be active participants in our local community.
In the past year we have made progress in each of the areas set forth in our plan:
· Improved retail business as a result of moving our location to a new plaza on 340 Great Road in Acton; the new location has results in much needed walk-in traffic and we’ve met a large number of new people who are now fans of The Happy Chocolatier;
· Expanded the number of retails outlets who now sell our signature truffle Cubze;
· Partnered with businesses in or community (and beyond) to make their customers, clients and employees happy with the gift of our chocolates;
· Expanded our offerings with a locally made ice cream from Lizzy’s Homemade Ice Cream in Waltham;
· Introduced new products from our milk chocolate caramel sea salt and milk chocolate caramel pecan bars to luscious dark chocolate bark loaded with coconut, roasted cashews and caramel lace to fun items like dark chocolate high-heel pumps; for each holiday we introduced series of special items like our hand-decorated chocolate reindeer, candy-filled chocolate cornucopia for Thanksgiving and candy-filled chocolate bunnies for Easter.
The Happy Chocolatier has been recognized by the local community, regional media and trade media. This recognition provides confirmation of the quality of our chocolates and customer service of our associates:
· Our signature Cubze were reviewed by one of the food critics at The Boston Globe, as well as several smaller magazines, and received very positive comments and recommendations;
· Two of our candy industry publications, Gourmet News and Candy Industry, provided positive reviews of our signature Cubze.
As part of our effort to be involved in our local community, The Happy Chocolatier has:
· Participated in a variety of events including The Annual Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts (HGRM) fund raiser and the Annual Chamber of Commerce Gallery of Tastes;
· Hosted fund raisers at our store for several local elementary schools;
· Collected donations for a variety of charities from Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to the Acton Food Pantry;
· Linked our sales to donations to a variety of charities including Lazarus House and the American Heart Association;
· Provided gift certificates to local organizations such as United Way, Acton Family Network and The Discovery Museum for their fund raising activities;
· Provided gift certificates to theater groups from R.J. Grey Junior High and Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.
While we are still a small and developing business, we do try our very best to give back to our community. As we grow, the business it is our intent to continue to give back to a greater degree as resources allow.
So, it is quite intentional that we celebrate our anniversary on Sweetest Day, which the Retail Confectioners International defines as the occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed.
As part of our second anniversary celebration, we are offering anyone who brings in a small or large bag of food for the Acton Food Pantry a free ice cream cone through October 21st.
We are very happy that we’ve beaten the odds and can continue to bring a bit of happiness to our customers, our local community and those who receive our chocolates as gifts. We know that we will continue to make mistakes, but we will learn from them and plan to grow the business through increased retail sales, expanded wholesale programs and continued growth of our corporate gift business. Continuing to be involved in our local community is an important part of our plan, as well.
Every step we take to develop The Happy Chocolatier is a step to spread the happiness with our chocolates. What can be more satisfying than that?