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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2014-05-31 15:39:44
Subject: First Wholesale Order

Aside from what we donate to our local church for their coffee shop, we have our first wholesale order for chocolate! The store owner sampled some chocolate yesterday and asked me to bring what I could, for resale. To be honest I want to improve the flavor a bit more, and I know we can, but it's good to get some more market feedback.

Meanwhile, I think we've settled on a brand name. Given that we are committed to predominantly using natural, domestic ingrediants, we feel that we are selling not only something very flavorful, but also something that will help the local economy and small cocoa farmers in this country. The cocoa, sugar, nuts and fruit are all produced here. There's not much else to chocolate. Therefore,  the name uses a common, appropriate phrase. And the name is <drum roll>...

Chocolate De Veras

(For you gringos that's pronounced "Cha-coh-la-tay day vehr-ahs", and it means "truly/sincerely chocolate")

In America we sometimes respond to a statement by another person by saying "really?", "is that right?" or "truly?". In Honduras you would say that with "De veras?"

So, onward and upward. This weekend I am going to try and make some really mild milk chocolate to make it easier to discern the different flavors of our ganache. The ganache I've been making, while very rich, has difficulty expressing the flavor of the fruit we mix with the chocolate. People taste chocolate and more chocolate, but you have to tell them that it's flavored with mango, cherry or strawberry for them to realize it. Even then, most do not notice it. We also flavor chocolate with mint extract, which does a better job of coming through. However, not everybody likes mint, including a very dear friend of ours. :-)

For you chocolate novices, one type of truffle is made by coating ganache with dark chocolate. Ganache is a soft chocolate typically made by melting chocolate, mixing it with condensed milk and letting it cool. This works well here, because dark chocolate has a higher melting point than milk chocolate or ganache. Therefore it protects the ganache from melting and oozing around the container. Local temperatures here in the mountains rarely if ever reach the melting point of dark chocolate, which is 94F. 

For now we are packaging the chocolate in small, cheap plastic bags to keep our costs down. Paula and Faith have thus far tied the bags with ribbon and made small signs showing the type of chocolate and the ingredients.

Truthfully I see where an outsider might see this as just another whimsical new hobby or hair-brained venture, but in my mind I am thinking we have four young men who are rapidly approaching the age of employment. I want to have a fallback for anyone here who cannot get a solid job in the marketplace, working with people of integrity. Inside note, those types of companies and jobs are very difficult to find here. There are two young men here that I know would have a very difficult time gaining employment and not being taken advantage of.

There are roughly 70,000 people in our town alone. Although incomes are low, almost everybody with any type of work will make a small splurge on a daily or weekly basis, typically on Coca-cola or even Wendy's. There is a lot of potential here to make this a solid business with much higher than normal profit margins for this area.

Replies to this message
re: First Wholesale Order  by Susan on Sunday June 01, 2014
re: First Wholesale Order  by Paula on Sunday June 01, 2014
re: First Wholesale Order  by mike rockert on Sunday June 01, 2014

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