Well, it's the reason for Ethereal Confections' existence anyway! We have spent many late nights over the past several months working to create the best chocolates and confections we possibly can.
The biggest challenge has been that we have a million ideas and not enough time to do them all simultaneously! It has been a whirlwind of activities as we've launched our website, built our Facebook page, developed packaging, figured out shipping, sourced ingredients and started to build some wholesale relationships.
Everything you see in our packaging, our confections and our website have been the direct result of our concentrated work the past few months. We designed the graphics and logos ourselves. We developed all of the website layout and programming. We also strapped our families down and forced them to taste test everything that came out of our kitchen until we knew we had the recipes just right. Though, they probably didn't mind that last one too much.
We have also have had the great experience of selling in both the Woodstock, IL and Kenosha, WI farmers' markets. The weather hasn't always cooperated -- it has fluctuated between freezing and boiling us -- but it has been great to be outside and talk with everyone who enjoys chocolate and who enjoys our chocolate.
As you may have guessed, chocolate is something we are passionate about. The history of chocolate, sourcing chocolate and turning that chocolate into something that you think about days or weeks (maybe years?) after eating really is something that we are striving for. So, don't be shy about giving us feedback or ideas. You are all welcome to help us!
People have asked what makes us different; one thing that we have noticed in most main stream chocolates is that they contain a lot of additives, allergens and generally things that don't taste good or that are not good for you. We make all of our confections dairy and gluten free. We are both sensitive to gluten and dairy and feel substantially better when they are not in our diets.
We've had quite a few big smiles and hugs at the markets as people discover they can actually eat our confections! Just this last Saturday, a woman said she had been searching for months trying to find a company that could make a dessert table for her sister's wedding; her sister has Celiac Disease. Also, except for a few things that have honey in them (just ask us if you are not sure which ones), the confections & chocolates are vegan friendly.
But don't think too much about what we are leaving out (all the bad stuff!), organic chocolate mixed with just the right ingredients and flavorings are both healthy and great tasting. All of the extra ingredients really aren't necessary for a small artisan business like ours, so we are just leaving them out!
Another thing that makes us different is where we source our chocolates and ingredients. There is some really great chocolate produced right here in the Americas, but most chocolate producers (especially the big ones) source the same chocolate as everyone else from Europe.
Since we are located centrally in the Midwest, we can take advantage of all the great products and ingredients that are produced right here. We can also ship anywhere pretty quickly. All in all, not a bad place to start!
With our initial line of confections launched, we are now working on sourcing darker chocolate -- think 70% or 80% dark -- and also the most interesting chocolate we can possibly find. Our goal right now is all soy free, fair trade & organic chocolate. The darker chocolate is lower in sugar and also has a more complex taste. We have some really good samples we are testing, but we aren't quite ready to release anything yet. We are also experimenting with some confections of the frozen persuasion...
In the end, we are making sure we have the best sourced and best tasting confections possible.
If you need your chocolate fix, just place an order on our website or visit us at the market. We will also let you know where you can pick up our confections locally as we grow our wholesale accounts. If you know of anyone who might like to carry our confections or maybe someone looking for favors for their wedding (or anything else!), just let us now!
And when you see us at the farmers' market, just mention our blog and we'll chocolate dip anything you might have bought there -- popcorn, tamales, picture frames. ;)