Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wascally Wabbits

EDITOR'S NOTE: One of my favorite things about working at the candy store is working with my sister because no matter how many years we do the work together she continues to have me doubled over in laughter with her funny observations and inner monologues. Here's a peek into some of the fun I get to have every day.

When spring arrives and the Easter bunny starts calling, at the candy shop that means one thing: it’s rabbit season.

Every day of production we have at least one person (and as many as three) devoted solely to making our solid chocolate rabbits. We use metal molds that fasten together with small clamps until the chocolate solidifies and a new bunny is born.

I’ve been lucky enough to be the head of bunny production in the past, but this year that duty falls to one of our lovely employees, Beth. She has the privilege of spending 40 hours a week devoted to clamping, filling, unclamping, trimming and packaging hundreds of chocolate rabbits.

With three people, this job isn’t too bad. It’s even relaxing. With two, it’s still pretty good. Chatting the day away while filling molds with delicious chocolate. Not bad.

It’s those days when you’re the only person in the bunny room when the bunnies start to get to you and they begin to take on lives of their own.

There’s Alice, of course, who is the most stuck up chocolate there is. She’s the only human form we make and she thinks this makes her better than the rest. And her rabbit friend? He doesn’t even have a name.

Peter is the public’s favorite, but he’s hiding a big secret. He may look like an innocent schoolboy, but he’s really an undercover detective sent from the government to discover our chocolate secrets.

There’s only one real Lamb with Bell, the rest are just clones (but we’re not telling which one is the original).

And then there’s Smooth Fat Standing Rabbit. Poor, poor Smooth Fat Standing Rabbit. He has self-image issues and he’s not very confident, because whenever anyone talks about him, they call him fat.

And to think, next to his counterpart, Large Smooth Standing Rabbit, he looks tiny.

But nobody would dare call Large Smooth Standing Rabbit fat. Nobody.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chocolate, Beer & Adventure Gear!

EDITOR'S NOTE: In this entry, I will recap the events of March 1, 2012. The first Chocolate, Beer and Adventure Gear Night in Richmond, to benefit the American Cancer Society.

My great-grandfather Arthur Anderson moved his business, Anderson's Candy Shop, out to the tiny Village of Richmond back in 1926. He picked the hamlet based on a hot-tip from one of his wife's friends.

Richmond, she said, was going to be the next boom town!

Well, let's just say that we are still waiting on the boom.

The population was measured to be 1,091 at the 2000 U.S. Census.

So, when you are situated in a beautiful little town like we are, but you want to attract more customers than might naturally stroll past your door, you learn to creatively think.

For us this has meant a Facebook page, website and touring with local county fairs. But this winter, the folks over at Antioch Fine Wine & Liquors in the next town over and our neighbors at 2K Adventure Gear came to us with a new idea.

They proposed we combine marketing and products for a good cause and invite everyone who shopped at our stores.

They wanted to host a free tasting event/fundraiser.

We immediately settled on the American Cancer Society as benefactor.

Each of our respective families had been touched by cancer in some way and on a personal note, my mother died of multiple organ failure due to cancer back in March of 2009.

With that settled, we planned our free chocolate and beer tasting event.

2K Adventure Gear would host so that guests could wander around the store while they sampled, peering into tents and trying out kayak paddles as they mulled about.
Larry over at Antioch Fine Wine would bring the craft beers and we would supply the chocolates.

The whole thing was free but we asked for a donation at the door the night of the event and also sold raffle tickets for a chance to win even more chocolate, beer and adventure gear giveaways. :)

And, at the end of our first Chocolate, Beer & Adventure Gear Night, we had raised $350 which was sent to the American Cancer Society.

Also, we had raised awareness of our businesses. What more could you ask for?!

In closing, if you were one of the folks who ventured out Thursday, March 1 to our first Chocolate, Beer and Adventure Gear night, we sincerely thank you.

We hope you had a great time, and want you to know that you made a difference in helping us to raise that $350!