I’ve been busy doing both editing and chocolate, and my blog has suffered.
I’m in the process of getting my wholesale license in D.C. and in Maryland, so I can sell my chocolate through retail venues. I’ve decided that outdoor markets are not a good outlet for me. For one thing, they take place during hot weather, and it’s hard to keep chocolate in good shape when it is over 100 degrees. Additionally, the cost of renting commercial space, packaging, and then market costs make it very difficult to break even on a product that does not have a long shelf life and a low profit margin, and demand from week-to-week is so unpredictable. Additionally, the “characters” who run outdoor markets, in my experience thus far, a slimy and untrustworthy bunch with whom I prefer to not do business. So, I’ve decided to focus on retail outlets and on internet sales until the day comes when I sign a lease and have my own shop, which is something I think about constantly. I do believe that starting this way is a good idea, though, as I work out my own style and perfect my chocolates before committing to a lease and hanging a shingle.
I had a wonderful experience this summer assisting Vincent Pilon at the 2012 World Pastry Forum at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. He taught a workshop on chocolate sculptures, and it was an amazing experience being in a classroom with such an amazing chocolatier. He is world-renowned for a reason. Here are some pictures of my experience both in Chef Pilon’s classroom, and at the competition. It was a fantastic experience, and I made some great new friends, and I learned a great deal. I came back very tired after 10 days of getting up before 5 AM and being on my feet until after 7 PM every night, and then I had to dive right into a September journal deadline that has been keeping me UP until 3 AM for the past several weeks. It’s hard, sometimes, switching back and forth between a chocolatier and a production editor, but both are an important part of my life — at least for now.
Although I left Las Vegas with a “I’m too old for this sh*t!” feeling, and a wish to get a massage and then sleep for a week, I’m quite glad I did it.