Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Zimt puts the "i" in Integrity and the "m" and "t" in Christmas and the "z" in Kwanzaa.

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the season. I am. Being pretty lazy and not making chocolate since... nearly Friday.  Starts again tomorrow.

Look at what I got for Christmas from the lovely folks at Hurraw:

They didn't actually send them to me as a Christmas gift, but they did end up under my Christmas tree- thank you, Hurraw!!!  (Available at Nice Shoes. FYI =) ).

Here's what's happening in the world of Zimt:

  • Not much.

  • Kidding! Sort of. Maybe I will just make a to-do list as a preview:
    • organic certification application
    • EE handbook
    • Fair trade certification application
    • vegan symbol
    • order melter
    • order chocolate syringes
    • make chocolate. oh yeah. 
    • prep for new product line. packaging. 
    • renew business license w city. 
    • flip a coin- more UPCs? 
    • maybe do an analysis on ROI for the above. 
    • or just flip a coin.
    • fix up business plan 
    • production schedule. maybe can wait. 
    • get labels printed. now. last week. The only problem is, I have to fix them up, and am not quite sure how to do so properly, and don't want to bug Sabrina to do that, because her family is visiting for Christmas. I think I will learn.
    • test 2 recipes.
    • nutrition analysis for ... four recipes.  New nutrition tables.
    • cave. ask Sabrina to design a new label for new bars. New bars! 
    • wait for a myriad of people to get back to me about many things.  In the meantime...
  • feed addiction for http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-yLGIH7W9Y&feature=relmfu - is that bad? Or accurate. ?. 
  •  Many last minute Christmas present orders- thank God for inventory =D 
  • Zimt will soon be available at Whole Foods locations throughout the lower mainland. Hopefully at one near you. And also at other retail locations. 
  • If you would like to order chocolate directly from me, please order through www.zimt.ca/bars.html and if you have any special notes to add, please write these in the bit where you pay via PayPal. Thank you!!! 
What is with the "i" and Integrity bit?

Coconut. The coconut that is in the Chocolate Coconut Crisp and the Chocolate Coconut Fudge may not be raw. Here is what happened:
I order the coconut through a local distributor, who gets the coconut from their supplier. I asked the distributor to verify that this coconut is in fact raw. Really raw. The reply being, that a lot of raw foodies in Vancouver source from them. I knew that- this is one of the ways I was able to easily source from them- I was familiar with other companies using this brand.  I had initially gone through another supplier, based in the USA, which specializes in raw products. But they sent me the wrong type of coconut flake, so I decided to look at other options. And found the local guys, who, to be honest, are really great.  Anyway... long story short is, I wasn't satisfied with the answer of "everybody's doing it", so I kept bugging them about temperatures and processing and... the answer? Temperature for processing and storage could not be verified.

Personally, I am fine with eating toasted coconut. I think it's pretty good.

But it isn't raw, and my product is marketed as being raw. And I don't want to be deceiving people, just because I didn't put in enough effort to verify the integrity of my product.

So... as of last week, where I was processing these really large coconut flakes, sent to me by my original supplier of coconut flakes, to be smaller and more appropriate for their fudge-y purposes,  no more questionable coconut. I do have inventory with some of the perhaps (maybe? Maybe not? depends on how I'm feeling? Ugh!) non-raw coconut.  But any bars dated after March 17th will be made with the coconut I processed myself in a Vita Mix blender.  Enjoy the extra labour-love costs I am absorbing! I do this happily. I want you to have a good product that you can believe in. No short cuts.

I remember this time last year, going for a walk with my mom, and we ran into some family friends. And the dad asked me what I was planning on doing with myself after graduating from business school. And I said I would start a chocolate company. And I had been thinking about how chocolate might be made, and how truffles might be filled, while on this walk.

And now I am done this post.

Merry Christmas from Familie Zimt!
L to R, B to F: Oma, Opa, Justin, Me, Michelle.

Thank you for reading!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's official!

Hi =)

Here's the latest and greatest:

  • Whole Foods- it happened. Officially. If you  go to the Whole Foods on Cambie and 8th, and head to the chocolate isle, and look on the second shelf from the bottom, with the "special" tags, you will see Zimt chocolate! Here is an image I took the first time I saw them there and thought "I wrapped so many chocolate bars.":
Zimt at Whole Foods- kind of a big deal.
First Whole Foods delivery- a big day for Theo!

 And here is a picture of me and the lovely Leeanne- the day I dropped off the bars:
Lovely Leeanne and Elated Emma.

  • This is what happened that day- it was Thursday, December 8th. I had a demo at Greens in the morning, from 10 until 2pm, which was fun as per usual! Not  a particularly high traffic time, but that's okay because I met some really enthusiastic and inquisitive people, and my friend from high school, Andrea, came to visit.  =)
  • Then there was the Whole Foods demo from 5 until 8pm, and I was very thankful for the generous help of a student from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition... because I couldn't have done it without her help. People were lining up like crazy! It was really encouraging to hear people's feedback and about how much they like Zimt chocolate. Fingers crossed.
  • I wrote a business plan! It was super intense and I didn't really sleep at all for maybe three days in a row, but that's quite my own fault for leaving it to the last minute. Though not really, because I was busy running a business. Which I should've had a plan for from the get go. But didn't because... its just... writing reports is school-y and I just am not great with that. No school ever, ever, ever, eeeeeeeever again. I am truly thankful for my education, but, I am just not cut out for school! Though I sure pretended to be for 18 years.  Anyway. My business plan- other than the actual numbers, it is a thing of beauty. I hope to implement it beyond conservative estimates. Unless I want to live in poverty- that's how I imagined this all to play out.  
  • I am meeting with some potential employees (Oompa Loompas!). Just so they can help out a bit- some part-time work.  And prevent the poverty. 
  • I'm badgering my web host's customer service. Speaking of which- check out the Zimt site! www.zimt.ca  It now has an online store, which I am trying to get rid of, but you can order product off of it until I do. 
  • I started this post over 24 hours ago.
  • I went to the US to pick up a coconut nectar shipment. On the way, I had a conversation, kinda one-sided, that went like this:
"Hey God- I don't want to have to fill out papers for the coconut nectar. And I don't want to pay duty fees or whatever.  But I will be totally honest to the border guards this time, and maybe that means I will have to fill out papers and wait around at customs and immigration for a while. But maybe not... eh??? "

The lady border guard didn't care that I was carting a massive thing of coconut nectar into Canada. So nice =) ! I guess somebody wanted me to bring coconut nectar to Canada with ease? I personally think there are more pressing matters, but hey. Maybe there's some sort of chain reaction- I don't know. 

Something else fun: 
I was leaving my house to go get a signature from Ricky, my friend and business mentor, for my business plan, before dropping it off at school, and heard a knock at the door. Two kids were collecting food for those who cannot afford food. They asked me for food and I said, "Sorry. I don't have any food.", which, particularly in the sense of canned goods, is true to my knowledge. And then they left.

And then I thought about how unfun it can be to go from house to house in unpleasant weather conditions, asking for things from people who should be able to give, but who often don't for a variety of reasons. 

And then I thought- "I have chocolate". And then I asked as they were walking away if they wanted some chocolate for energy. 

What a question.

So we chatted a bit and it turns out that one of the boys' family has a cocoa plantation in Trinidad. Neat! I gave him my card. I would love to go to Trinidad. =) 

Have a great Wednesday!


Monday, December 5, 2011

zing 640


This is just a quickie- but I wanted to mention some really important things wrt Zimt. They are:

  1. Whole Foods- tomorrow, which technically is today, I will be filling an order for 640 chocolate bars for the Whole Foods on Cambie. Unbelievable! They ordered 33% more than I was anticipating, so it is good I made some extra.  But how incredible- I feel super blessed to have my foot in that door. I hope they order lots, frequently, but only after I have officially hired people. 
  2. New Flavours- one is not so super new- the Chocolate 67%. I originally had made it for a friend who had ordered the Chocolate Nib'd bars in a fairly large quantity, but had said he would prefer a plain old chocolate bar. So I made him some and as I am a lot more confident about my plain chocolate making skills now, decided to offer it to the general public. It is really good, I think. But different, of course. Anyway, it has been at Greens since last Saturday. If you go to Whole Foods on Cambie tomorrow, you will find out about a brand new flavour, unless you were one of the rare taste-testers for the first batch- so good! 
  3. DemoDemo- I will be demoing for Zimt twice on Thursday. The first demo will be at Greens in the morning, and the second will be at Whole Foods on Cambie in the afternoon until eight, at which point I will pass out and probably leave a pretty bad impression for doing so in the middle of such a lovely super natural market. Come say "hello" if you get the chance!
  4. There's more- but you'll need to wait because I really have to get some sleep so I can wake up early and get things ready for a new tenant, pack stuff for the day, and go to the mall with my Oma before delivering chocolate and seeing some nice people. And working on my business plan. I really must. 
  5. There are new labels. No waiting for that news! And there will be new photos- my friend, Chris Collier (christophercollie.com) who I met while doing a photo shoot (guess modelling's good for something after all. Hahaha... kidding. It's great for lots!), took the photos, which show these new labels and the chocolate as well. Five and a half hour shoot- woah! But they're beautiful. 
Thank you for reading. Night!