Monday, September 26, 2011

chocolate + china.

Hi Everybody,

Here is a quick update about Zimt, which may or may not actually end up being quick (... it is how it is.):

1. Taste of Health is coming up on Sunday, October 2nd and Zimt will be there- exciting! I just realized when it was to be held... yesterday, though, and will need to do a whole lot of work this week to get things going. I need to get a banner made... it is of bamboo. ^.^

2. Zimt chocolates were being made until about 10:30 last night and until about 10:15 tonight and administrative Zimt things were happening until the chocolates started to be made- like sorting out the banner, new labels (new designs coming up soon! And they look so phenomenal. Thank those lucky stars for talented friends who are gracious with their time.)

3. Whole Foods Market on W 8th and Cambie Street will be carrying Zimt chocolate bars very soon. I just need to fill out the application and send it in and get approved. That's all. The realistic goal is for the end of October. This seems perfect- just in time for Halloween! I'm sure lots of trick-or-treaters would be very happy to get a gourmet, raw chocolate bar instead of chemicals in colourful packaging. It will happen. 

4. I got 1.5/11 things done on my to-do list today. Wait- blog! 2.5/12. =)

I am very excited for everyone to see the new labels- they just look so amazing. 

Oh wait, I totally forgot- this is not necessarily Zimt related (not directly anyway), but please look at this video. I was volunteering for Media at my church on Sunday and this video is what was played- it is very short, just over half a minute (scroll down a bit and you will see how to view it.). What a tragedy. China is undeniably powerful, but it is a hurting nation. There are just so many problems that the government needs to address responsibly- and neither claiming vast amounts of the world's natural resources nor taking over Africa will help fix these.  I kind of see China as the class bully- beating up on everybody, and attempting to covering up a very troubled state of being. 

... okay. Guess I won't be allowed to go to China anymore now! (Good thing my agent wants to send me to Thailand @.@).

Lettuce keep the people of China and all those living in oppression in our thoughts and prayers.


PS- did you see that I changed the look of the Zimt blog? What do you think? You can PM me via FB, if you'd like. Or text me. Or... even post a reply on the blog. Double dare ya. =)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rightfully picky etc.

Hi =)

Whole Foods is meant to call me either tomorrow or Friday- I think I'll wait by the phone and practice what I'm going to say when we chat.  Shouldn't be hard- I've had so much practice. ^.^


Today I went to my business planning class and learned about different forms of business structure, such as sole proprietorship, partnerships, limited (liability) partnerships, and incorporation. But I already knew most of  what was discussed, since I had to look this all up prior to incorporating my chocolate company... about a month before I even attempted to make chocolate. Smart!

Then I made fillings for bars and ordered product and got in touch with retailers.

Something very exciting- I got eco-friendlier masking tape! This is such a big deal, because now I won't have to label storage with recycled Post-It notes. Zimt's efficiency will increase by 379%.

.... I even took a picture...

It was so exciting, I had to re-label everything in storage.

I love the kitchen I work out of because it is in a church, it is very peaceful, and the people who work there are very kind. They're so kind, in fact, that they just give me large quantities of organic fruit- 

They definitely will be getting an apple, nectarine, pear crisp.

Other, somewhat less exciting, news- year end is coming up. That means I get to hang out with Excel some more- yessss!

Important: I've been spotted. My boss from my previous place of employment found out about Zimt. Or, I found out that he found out about Zimt (chicken, or egg?). Anyway, I think I will have to bring them some chocos, if for no other reason than that I really just like giving people chocolate, and it seems somehow appropriate. "Surpriiiiiise! Look what my night-job was!" (starting Zimt- that was my night job. ...?)

I did an interview with the newspaper of the business school I just graduated from. It was really fun and interesting to see how perspectives change so much. I think that they liked one thing I said, in particular (and I just made it up on the spot!): Don't go by the book, go by the second. (Copyright 2011 Emma Smith of Zimt Artisan Chocolates Limited. Haha.). Sometimes they asked me questions that reminded me of what someone might find at the end of a textbook chapter, to prep for a midterm.

Speaking of people speaking of me, I'm doing another interview with chef and vegan cookie expert, Dreena Burton, and it will be on her blog, I just need to make sure I will be able to answer the question as to whether or not customers can buy directly from me (ie. online store, in this case) in the affirmative.

The kids liked the chocolate at their school fundraiser =) Yay!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's all happening. (!!!!!!!!!)


So Whole Foods likes Zimt!!!!!!

And I will be selling chocolates at the Star of the Sea Fall Fair tomorrow.


More updates to come! (aaaaaand more chocolate!)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Whole-y Guacamole!

Hi Everyone,

... it seems the time has come. The day has arrived, this day I thought would have... taken a lot longer to arrive is nearly upon Zimt.

Tomorrow, I am going to Whole Foods on Cambie and Broadway with a bag full of Zimt bars. Whole Foods- I know! Last week when I was there, my friend, Doran, who works there, was saying that I should really sell my chocolate there. And I expressed my concerns in my not being able to keep up with the demand I anticipate will come with selling at Whole Foods. He assured me that Whole Foods takes the production limitations of small producers into account- it sounds not so scary. So off I go... big prayers.

Other exciting Zimt news! Zimt chocolate bars as well as individually sized, solid chocolates will be available from now on at Indigo Food Cafe! This is an excellent place to get some truly scrumptious food (... not just Zimt- Lovena, the owner and operator, has incredibly delicious creations to share. Get anything with the tzatziki. Oh. My. Goodness. Get it on the granola, get it on the crepe, get it on anything!). Anyway. Back to the chocolate! (Get it on the chocolate. Ha.). There are three flavours available: Kaffee Squares, Coconut Domes, and Sweet Orange Nib Hearts. A nice little treat.

Here is a picture of the Kaffee Squares I just took with my Blackberry (which has 4 available pictures left, just so you know.):

Is it just me, or do these remind you of Adventskalender? I think they are called "Advent Calenders" in English- the ones where you open up a window in a calendar for the first 24 days of December as a countdown to Christmas. I really enjoyed those up until I could not actually partake as I could not find a vegan version on the market. But I love these sqaures and now I can make my own chocolate countdown to Christmas (life has improved substantially.).

What else... I did a demo at Greens the other day- it went really well. I was feeling completely exhausted and did not want to do any work, especially not smiling at people and making conversation for hours, before I went. But when I got there, it was really nice. So many people were not only intrigued, but really enthusiastic- really enthusiastic. Zimt apparently has a little fan club going! This was great to see- I'm so happy to be bringing something nice to people who appreciate it.

On Saturday, I will be out in White Rock at the Star of the Sea Fall Fair and Market Place- I am interested to see what will come of it! Hopefully I will be able to get some chocolate to people who normally cannot eat chocolate, for whatever reason.

And finally, I am going to school again. I also did not see that one coming, but there I go- back to UBC for one course in Small Business Food and Beverage Manufacturing. I think it will be very, very useful, and so I will sacrifice Wednesday and Friday mornings until December to attend- and I'm very thankful for the opportunity for that sacrifice!

Enjoy the rest of the week =)


Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's been a little while.


I kept intending to blog, but my computer sounds like it is going to combust each time I start it up and everything works very slowly (or... sometimes not at all...), so I've been avoiding it a bit.

Here is an update:

1. My mom got married- everyone liked the truffles. (*pfewf!*)
2. My lovely new friend from Germany, Sabrina, has so kindly offered to help me reformat the labels for the bars. This needs to be done, because, as I mentioned a while back, the names are confusing to those who speak neither Spanish nor German. So we're going to make some nice, non-confusing English named bars. Stay tuned- and vielen Dank, Sabrina!!!
3. I had way, waaay too much vegan cake at her wedding, woke up at 3 am the next morning, realized I had forgotten to feed the neighbours' fish, couldn't sleep, cleaned up the house before my new room mate came to view it at 10:30 that morning, wandered over to the neighbours' to feed the fish (at this point, about 4:30 am), didn't want to go back to my house, so I went for a refreshing walk, got really thirsty, went home, didn't want to be at home, went for another walk (and made it almost an entire block), got really tired all of a sudden, turned around, walked home, passed out for 3 hours, until my alarm went, was still too tired to get up, one more hour, decided that I couldn't stay in bed any longer, got up, cleaned the house, showed the place to Rena, and realized that nothing in point 3. has anything to do with Zimt.

But it does! Because as I was leaving to go feed the fish, I realized that there was something very wrong with one of my base ingredients. But it was about 4:30 am, and there was not much I could do about it at that point, so I didn't freak out, but just felt a little overwhelmed instead.

This quality issue is worrying me now, though. I've spoken with my supplier about it, who has spoken with the manufacturer, who cannot believe that the process ever worked as I've done- but it has, and I've even taken it in for testing- so I think that this was just a terrible fluke of a batch. And I've had to toss about $80 worth of product so far. And have taken a lot more in for testing, changed recipes around... and will have to wait and see.

The only thing is, I am anticipating another large order this week. But what if I do not have this key ingredient?  The alternative simply does not work for some of my recipes. I will know better this week- until then, supply of certain varieties may be limited. And I am really, really sorry for this.  I wish it were a better situation, but this is still a very new process.

My goal is still to provide people with ethical, delicious products and that's precisely what I am going to do- but perhaps at a reduced variety for a little while.

Enjoy your Sunday =)