Yes! Today, you find me high upon my chocolate soapbox!!! Piece, Love &… Packaging!!!
You may not realize how much waste is created from traditional chocolate packaging. The boxes, the balotin inserts, the paper cups and separators… its all beautiful, but wasteful and expensive!
Before I opened my shop, a lot of careful planning went into how we make our chocolates and how we would select chocolates from the other artisan chocolatiers we wanted to represent. Our primary goal was to give you, our cherished guests, tremendous selection and add great value to your PL&C experience.
It had also occurred to me that I did not want to make our guests pay for unnecessary packaging they did not need or would use. If you want to buy one or two chocolates to eat right away, why should there be a hidden cost to your purchase to pay for someone else’s packaging?
You may not realize it, but many purveyors of chocolates do just that; each of their pieces are priced higher, but their box is “free”. I don’t not fault them for this; it is a standard throughout our industry. But, despite criticism from other colleagues, I decided to due just the opposite. Now, I will not give them the satisfaction of saying, “I told you so!”, but, I am finding the need to defend myself and my pricing strategies.
Almost all of our chocolates (excluding the larger and imported pieces) are $2 each. Without going into the intricacies of what it takes us and the other artisan chocolatiers we represent to produce each and every chocolate by hand, please check around and you will see that $2 is very reasonable, indeed!
When you buy chocolates from us, we offer them to you in many ways:
-We can just place them in your hand to consume right away
-We can place them in a small attractive “free” bag of which we have several designs, sealed with a ribbon or sticker
-We can place them in a “free” paperboard 4-pack
-And, we can place them in fancy boxes which make nicer gift presentations… for a price
We have had more than one disgruntled guest exclaim how unhappy they were because we charge for boxes; inferring that we were in some way gouging them. Ridiculous! We always let you know your packaging options – it is up to you how you would like to courier your chocolates. Let me assure you, we merely carry through the price of our boxes – we are NOT making any sort of profit on them. I don’t mind sharing with you the cost of some of our boxes, perhaps in an effort to create a conversation and/or feedback as to what we might do differently.
-Our small clear bags costs us $.06 each, each sticker is $.03.
-Our “free” paperboard 4-pack box with sticker costs us $.39.
-Each “free” paper cup that holds each chocolate is $.03 cents each.
-Our 4-count brown “corporate” balotin boxes costs us $2.42 each, between the box and the labor to fold it
When I created our PL&C Eco-LOVE 12 piece box, I took all of this into consideration. I wanted a box that did not have quite so much waste to it, would be recyclable/compostable, be designed and made here in Colorado – thus, creating a smaller carbon footprint – and, if at all possible, this box would not be so costly to all of us. The PL&C Eco-LOVE 12 piece box, two trays, two inserts and 12 cups costs me $.96. Up and until this moment, I have charged $1 for our PL&C Eco-LOVE box. I won’t any longer. If you are willing to forego the other balotin boxes we offer and choose to give a more sustainable package with our logo on it, I will no longer charge you for our PL&C Eco-LOVE 12 piece box – as long as you allow us to fill it with your choice of 12, $2 truffles. My prices on our other packaging will remain the same.
I understand everyone’s desire to get the best deal possible to ensure the value of what we buy. But, I am in a “for profit” business and I need to make money to survive. My business is very labor intensive as are most artisan craft food makers. To quote one of my most cherished business mentors, Enrique Garcia from SCORE: “If everyone could do this Sarah, they would!”
Due to the volatile nature of the price of cacao, inevitably, I will have to raise the price of my chocolates. However, I refuse to let the price of packaging dictate what I sell chocolates for.
I have laid out some very personal and heartfelt information in this entry and I encourage your thoughts on this matter.
I have many quotes hanging in our back kitchen to inspire me and my team. One of my favorites is, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions!”
Thank-you for taking the time to read my not-so-humble opinions…
May I get off my soapbox now and go back to work?