Raise The Candy Bar

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Visual Treat

As I mentioned the other day we had a Halloween Themed Networking Event at the store.

So I thought that I would display some pictures of the sweet treats who needs any tricks.

Our own chocolate covered pretzels with oranges seeds
A three tiered chocolate tray with an assortment of turtles and barks and Halloween themed chocolates

A three tiered chocolate tray with an assortment of turtles and barks and Halloween themed chocolates
English Toffee, Peppermint Patties  and Halloween themed chocolates.

Candy corn and our famous baked goods made with my Mother In Law's recipe.
Yes the Life of the Candy Man is sure a sweet one.

Trick or in this case a Visual  Treat and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dressing up as Willy Wonka

Back in March Fox News dubbed me the Kosher Willy Wonka. I am known around the area as the Candy Man; but when I meet people for the first time people occasionally ask me what it is like to be Willy Wonka?

I always respond that it is sweet. Yes it is a canned response but it is true. That brings me to this weeks entry.

I go to various networking events and I am a  member of various networking groups. This week two of the groups I am involved with were having a business after hours at my store. The theme for the party was an early Halloween Party. Costumes were optional.

Being the host and being the Candy Man I figured I needed to dress up. What to be was a no brainer. I was going to be the Willy Wonka. OK -- truth be told  I was the only one who put on a costume.

The first thing I did was google Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. I found multiple sites that had pictures from the movie as well as costume companies. I actually bought the costume from one of the sites but returned it because it looked like the amount I spent. In the end I bought a purple sport coat and had a seamstress help with the vest with material that I bought at a local fabric store.

So what do you think here is Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka
Picture From http://calitreview.com/7238
And here is me the Candy Man aka The Kosher Willy Wonka.

Picture compliments of http://www.starbellystudios.com/

Yes living the Life of the Candy Man is so Sweet.

PS -- stay tuned for a future blog with pictures of the sweet table at the business after hours.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Skulls and Cross Bones Oh My

Every week I ponder what am I going to write about. Some weeks it is easy and some week I wait for the interesting candy story of the week.

Yesterday, I got a phone call from a perspective client. She was looking for skull and cross bones candy, for a Halloween party she was having at her office.

She found us online and we did not even have that item on the web (we do now). Anyway she was looking for prepacked bags of the candy by Today at 11:00 am.  My staff is really good (if I say so myself) but superwomen they are not. I suggested we sell the her the candy in bulk and she put it into a big bowl. The perspective client said she would think about it and get back to us.

A little bit later she called and decided to go for it. So I picked up the candy for her at the candy warehouse and made it happen. We arranged with now the client that her messenger would arrive before the store  opened today so she could get her product on time.

All part of living the Life of the Candy Man, who says there are no such things as candy emergencies.

Have a sweet day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Pineapple a Symbol of Hospitality

Just the other day I learned something new, the Pineapple is a symbol of hospitality. I have been in the confection and gift giving business now for over six years and just learned this interesting fact.

I have loved pineapple since I was a kid but had no idea of its history. Gina from Welcome to My City who told me the interesting fact was kind enough to forward me an article explaining the history of the pineapple becoming a symbol of hospitality.

I don't want to plagiarize so here are the cliff notes:
  • 1493 Columbus brought the pineapple to Europe
  • For 200 years Europeans tried to grow them 
  • Colonial Americans put a Pineapple on the table when having guests
  •  The pineapple served during colonial times was a as sign of a warm welcome as well as dessert
How does this all tie into the Life of the Candy Man? It ties into the many pineapple flavored product which we sell. My personal favorite is the milk chocolate dipped pineapple

Have a sweet day!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Sweetest Ride

Illinois Nut & CandyPart of living the Life of the Candy Man is all about marketing myself and the company. We have done this in several unique ways first was the outside of the building.

Next was my van. Yes many companies have lettering on their vans as do we on our big Ford Panel Van. But when I was getting ready to get a new vehicle I decided...
  • I needed something over the top
  • Something that turned peoples heads
  • Something that made people want to come to the store
So that is what I did I worked with the graphic artists at Three Cat Media. I explained to them that I needed something that would turn heads. After Rob came up with the final design my five year old said something along the lines of "... I want to eat the truck" we sent the files over to Shira at Speedpro. And whalla two days later I had the most noticeable ride in town.

Candy Van Here is where the story gets good. My Wife subscribes to Angie's Listback in June while reading the magazine she saw the advertisement for the Trump My Truck Contest. So with a little photographic help from my Sister In-law Jenny (thanks for the great picture) we entered the contest. Little did I know that we were entering the inaugural year of the contest. But we entered and became the first winner of the Trump My Truck

To celebrate the victory we are offering the following use PROMO code TRUCK and get 20% off of your next online order valid through the end of the year.

Anglie's ListBy the way if you are a member of Angie's List and have used our services giving us a review to go along with the one we have would be great!

Catering in Chicago

Have a sweet day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It Was Close...

Part of living the Life of the Candy Man is delivering what you promise. Making the chocolate is the easy part I control what gets made on what day. Unfortunately we are beholden on packaging companies and shipping companies to make our custom orders a reality.

Over the last month we have been closed quite a bit because of all the Jewish Holidays. Rosh Hashanah and Sukkoth in particular. Anyway we had an order for an existing customer who happens to be a not for profit.  Their event was last Wednesday night. We promised delivery of their party favors the Monday before. The party favors were custom business cards 

(which we already had the mold for)  with a custom printed box.

The client ordered a bit late but I assured them that all was good. The boxes were ordered, the chocolate was made and we were ready to pack the boxes when the carrier showed up on Monday. The carrier came but no boxes. I called the box company as I was getting that sinking feeling in my gut and asked if they had a tracking #. The client rep pulled up the tracking # and said that the carrier had left the boxes by the back door the Friday before when we were closed. At which point I felt like hurling .

I called the depot and they got a hold of the driver who happened to be a substitute. The driver freely told the depot that he left the boxes behind a dumpster in the alley the previous Friday because we were closed. After several expletives I hung up called the box company and told them what happened. My question was could the boxes and there were several cases worth be reprinted and overnight-ed. The box company (who I love and have sent chocolate too) told me that I could have the boxes in the early AM on Wednesday.

I then called my client with the bad news and gave her 2 choices
1) blank boxes with the custom chocolate ready Monday afternoon as originally promised 
2) the custom boxes delivered on Wednesday right before the event.

The client said she trusted me and would wait for the custom chocolate until right before the event on Wednesday.  The carrier arrived early last Wednesday morning and then the entire team pulled together and packed the order. I can honestly say that sometime the Life of the Candy Man is stressful and causes me to have either less hair or more gray hair. 

That being said here is a bit of the email the client sent me after the event.
"Thank you for getting the chocolates to the hotel on time! It worked out great.

Another sweet success story of a branded party -- too bad it was so stressful.
Have a sweet day!