Categorized | Shoestring Startup

Not your ordinary box of chocolates

Not your ordinary box of chocolatesName of your company and URL?

Chocolate Covered Everything
http://www.chocolatecoveredeverything.com/

Date started?

I had been talking about starting a chocolate covered everything shop since I was nine years old and finally in 2009, due to the urging from some pretty great people, I decided it was time to actually create Chocolate Covered Everything.

What is your product or service?

Not your ordinary box of chocolatesI make all natural artisan chocolates and other chocolate covered healthier desserts by hand. All items come individually wrapped in crystal clear cello bags with the Chocolate Covered Everything signature sticker. The individually wrapped items are then put in environmentally friendly, gift-ready, cotton pouches with the Chocolate Covered Everything signature icon. Our information is only on the hang tag so that the pouches can be reused or re-gifted. The hang tag is attached to the pouches with a spiral clip to match the swirl of the logo. The pouches make great gifts for special occasions as well as corporate gifts, party favors, or simply to reward oneself for going to the gym. To make decisions easier there are currently four pouch sizes with a variety of options choose from, including “Create Your Own Pouch.” Some of the items may also be ordered by the pound and special requests are accepted for custom assortments as well as requests for specialty items. Multiple shipping options throughout the U.S. are available for deliveries in one to three days. So there is no melting, all packages are insulated and shipped with cold gel packs.

The products I currently make:

innards: Dark chocolate covered crunchy peanut butter.

choconuts: Dark chocolate covered crunchy peanut butter and organic coconut (inside & out).

pbEddies: The best homemade organic peanut butter cookie you’ll ever taste! Bottomed with dark chocolate & topped with dark chocolate covered crunchy peanut butter.

EddieBurgers: The best homemade organic peanut butter cookie you’ll ever taste… turned into a sandwich! Middled with peanut butter & dark chocolate.

health clusters: Dark chocolate covered “healthy” — high protein, high fiber & whole grains.

graham drops: Dark chocolate dipped graham cracker stick.

thingamajiggies: Organic round oatmeal raisin cookie — bottomed with dark chocolate & topped with a dab of dark chocolate.

Oliver twists: Dark chocolate dipped sprouted whole grain pretzel.

dusty A’s: Organic raw almonds covered and dusted in dark chocolate.

penguins: It’s just like your favorite creme filled chocolate cookie sandwich… But it’s even better!! It’s organic and dipped in dark chocolate, of course!

icy penguins: Organic minty cookie & creme sandwich, dipped in dark chocolate.

Bria berries: Chocolate covered organic cranberries (regular and apple infused)

Schmoolies: Chocolate dipped organic apricots

CB’s: Chocolate covered organic coffee beans(specialty flavor requests are accepted)

pbMonkeys: Frozen organic banana slices topped with organic crunchy peanut butter, covered in dark chocolate.

Ella Janes: Dark chocolate covered organic strawberries.

Why did you start your company?

Not your ordinary box of chocolatesIt all started because I wanted delicious healthier options without chemicals when I was craving a sweet treat. When you eat healthier and get the chemicals out of your diet, you start to notice that foods with chemicals taste like they’re made with chemicals. But, all-natural healthier desserts don’t need to taste healthy either. I believe the chemicals, hormones, pesticides, etc. used in processed foods are a huge factor in many health issues in this country. Most people won’t change how they eat or pay attention to what is in the foods they eat so they need someone to sneak the “healthy” in there for them. And weight loss is typically the side effect of removing the chemicals and processed ingredients from your diet in addition to adding whole grains and other natural ingredients.

How was it financed?

I haven’t had any special financing. I’ve been trying to grow the business by only using money that the business generates without seeking outside resources for funding.

Date officially launched?

My online shop was fully functional on December 13th 2010

What free online or offline tools do you use?

Internet searches, social networking, blogs, reviews, word of mouth, and getting involved in various events.

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ? Provide exact URL of each –

http://www.facebook.com/ChocolateCoveredEverything

http://twitter.com/#!/CCEverything

http://www.linkedin.com/company/chocolate-covered-everything

http://www.manta.com/c/mrscn77/chocolate-covered-everything

http://www.yelp.com/biz/chocolate-covered-everything-manhattan-3

Youtube watch video URL?

I don’t have a video yet, but I will definitely create something interesting at some point, hopefully soon.

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

I haven’t hired anyone to help with anything yet. I’ve done everything myself, from developing the products, package design, marketing, marketing materials, website, etc. I’ve even wheeled my luggage to Brooklyn to pick up cases of chocolate.

What is the best advice you never got?

How to create a successful food business on a shoestring budget. Haha!

What almost killed your business in the start?

Navigating through the government rules and regulations of the food industry.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Making sure I have a great product. My entire business is based on the fact that you can have great tasting desserts made with healthier ingredients. I have never had someone not fall in love with what I make and it’s so fun for me to see everyone’s reaction when they eat it for the first time. I’ve actually had people fight over who gets to have the last one.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

I had to learn everything about the food industry from the bottom up and it wasn’t something I went to school for. I taught myself everything, even how to temper and create professional quality chocolates. It’s a big learning curve to go from just making delicious things for your friends and family to creating something that can live in the world and compete with all the other products out there.

What type of marketing or advertising do you do?

Currently, I just advertise through the internet, social networking, articles, blogs, and word of mouth through people in the real world. I’ve also donated my products to various charity events, which doesn’t help too much with business, but it does make a lot of people very happy and that’s important too.

What would make your business more “Successful”?

More money for traditional advertising to help drive more sales, which will hopefully grow the business to where it needs to be.

Would you want to be acquired by a bigger company, run it yourself or sell in a couple of years?

Being acquired by a larger company would be great as long as it follows the same basic healthy and delicious principles that my company was founded on.

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3 Responses to “Not your ordinary box of chocolates”

  1. christine says:

    These are the MOST delicious home made, organic and HEALTHY chocolates I’ve ever had! My favorite chocolates are the pbEddies, innards and EddieBurgers but they are all YUMMY!

  2. Dawn says:

    Delicious chocolates with out all the unnecessary chemical additives!!

  3. Michael says:

    These chocolates make all the processed big market candy taste like tree bark!!! They are delicious, healthy, and made with love. Everyone should try one and they will be hooked for life.

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