That's how much chocolate I just purchased.
A one time delivery.
Half a ton.
It was a huge step for this Girl And Dog.
Was I crazy?
What if cookie sales were to suddenly slow up?
Or simply... end?
Those thoughts have always been in the back of my head as I forge ahead.
And they're the same ones that have kept me from ordering this much chocolate at one time.
Doubt (and fear of failing) sure do keep us from taking that next step don't they??
The kicker is the one ingredient that costs the most for me is chocolate. Mostly because I want to use only the highest quality ingredients in each yummy.
I mean... if I'm gonna make a cookie... I'm gonna MAKE a cookie.
Guittard chocolate is just so good.
Put simply- their chocolate makes every cookie I bake taste just like I ever dreamt it could.
But with quality comes cost... unless you do a little research, call a few spots & discover the wonderful world of wholesaling.
Taking that leap & ordering wholesale is always the way to go- means you get the product for half (or less than half) the retail price.
And talking to the fine people at Guittard was going swimmingly until... the woman on the other end announced that their minimum order was 500lbs.
Silence on my end of the line.
She said it would come in twenty 25lb boxes.
And it could be delivered two days from the day I placed the order.
I sat there with the accounts lady on the phone.
Her name was Maria.
And she was patient with me.
I asked her one more time to repeat the figures to me.
Grand total $$$$.$$
That's right- a 4 digit number.
If I had had a beer there on the desk with me I'd have taken a swig just then.
But instead I exclaimed excitedly “Let's do it!!”
She (Maria) said “ok” in a less than enthusiastic tone.
Hey, it was just another day at the office for her, ya know?
All I could think about was that I was going to be receiving just a plain SILLY amount of chocolate in less than 48 hours.
After I stopped worrying about whether I should order the chocolate or not I transitioned right into worrying about where I was going to store it all.
Would the commercial kitchen have room enough?
I guess that's what jumping off the deep end means.
You really have NO idea what's going to happen next.
Kind of fun.
Sure enough, 2 days later the driver of Best Overnight Express called to say he'd be at the kitchen in 45 minutes.
I was in between cookie deliveries so I stood there waiting.
Trying to put out the vibe.
Acting like I receive orders this size all the time.
Ain't no thang, right?
But then I heard the big rig as it backed into the parking lot.
This is what I saw.
My initial thought:
Either my eyes got real big or my stomach dropped to the floor.
Either one would have been correct.
For some reason I reverted back to my childhood imagination.
I really thought for one long moment that the ENTIRE BACK END was chock full of milk chocolate chips and the driver was going to expect me to fit 'em all in the kitchen.
But then I bounced back to real time, tried to stay cool on the outside & said in a matter-of-fact voice
“You can just unload the chocolate & stack it over there, please” (pointing my finger at a space in front of the gigantic freezer we call Big Bertha).
Once he put the first load down & I saw that the 20 boxes would be a totally manageable size to store I got real excited.
This was it.
A big moment for me.
I took pictures of him unloading it all.
Just so I could remember the day I pushed through to the other side. The other side of being a small business owner- the huge moment when I stopped doubting if my efforts were all worth it.
For so long I was expecting the ground to fall out from under me. Surely people would stop wanting my cookies. They'd be a fad, a phase, a sweet treat that was good but wouldn't last.
But then no one stopped enjoying them.
And a better cookie didn't come along.
And then Acre Coffee said they'd be opening another cafe.
And it would be 3 times as big as the Petaluma store.
And they wanted Girl And Dog cookies there too.
And THAT'S when ordering 500lbs of chocolate in one go didn't seem so ludicrous.
I've always believed in this cookie baking/apron making business.
And while that's a critical part of sticking it out in the tough, less than exciting, downright disheartening times the REAL success comes down to discovering if OTHER people believe in what you do.
By sharing the experiences they've had with your product with others.
By believing in your creation... almost as much as you do.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be doing what I do.
Thankful I've got the support of family & friends.
Thrilled that Abe (my black lab) continues to demonstrate total commitment to the cause.
Excited that I can purchase 500lbs of chocolate & fall asleep at night feeling it was a smart move.
In the right direction.
In an effort to make this dream of mine happen... one handcrafted cookie at a time.
And perhaps it goes without saying but- if anyone needs a cup of chocolate chips for their baking needs- just ask.
I've got a few to spare these days : )