The Chocolate Life

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I got a great opportunity, an opportunity that one just can't refuse.. I was offered space within a very well established candy store on a very busy street, were talking about a store with an average of 110 paying transactions per day and probably 3 times more individuals coming in the store.

So I rent out about 150sq ft, I do not have much display space, I have attached a photo of the space. I do not have a refrigerated display case so i am limited as far as truffles.

I moved in saturday, built up the inventory including chocolate bars, pops, 9 truffle selections, truffle pops, various dipped candies, fudges, various barks, etc

Now sales are not great so far, I know I cannot expected miracles but with the foot traffic I was expecting more, maybe I do not have the proper inventory, this is why I am posting, to seek some ideas on what I can put up for sale.

I never had a store before, the rent is great and I love the place, but sales have to go up and I feel I am missing something. One thisng I do offer is custom chocolate bars, people can bring whatever they bought in the store to me and I craft a custom, people love it but by itself it cannot support the whole operation.

I am looking for product ideas.. any suggestions even on the setup ?

any input would be greatly appreciated !

thank you

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by the way the initial photo is before I moved in, here is a photo of what the space looks like with my stock.

It takes a bit of time to build up a customer base. Did you have customers before moving? Do they know where to find you? Are you sampling? Is the rest of the store at the same price point as you? Is the rest of the store competing with you? Can you use the window? Can you make something with an aroma to draw customers to you? 


I have a very small base but I moved cities so i can't really count on them, i have to build from the ground up. I was hoping the foot traffic of the candy store would give me a boost, now obviously it helps but still..  i do have limited space to work with and yes, i can use the window.

I am looking into getting a 4ft display case for truffles but will need to be crafty to fit it in there, but god are those units expensive..

the rest of the store has nothing in chocolate, apart from the regular store chocolate bars ( kit kats, etc )

Now they propose an interesting option, if I barcode everything the will make my sales, minus a kickback, for periods I have no one on site.

So right now I am trying to think about some marketing ideas to draw traffic in, i have a sidewalk sign promoting my custom chocolate bars, but its not enough I think..

The space looks much better now. Perhaps you could add some signage showing how you can make custom bars. Or a big sign showing the flavors. I mean big enough to put across the red desk. All that frontage is being wasted. Is there a question or something you could put on a sign to draw people in?
As far a bar coding your products be sure to do some homework on buying your bar codes and being sure you own them universally. This will make it easier to expand into other stores. Not having to staff all the time would really help with cash flows


I would try to differentiate a bit from the candy store. I would remove or relocate those superman and the beatles frames and add some chocolate/cacao ambientation. I would add an expresso machine and serve consistently great (fair trade) coffee. If that's a freezer... I would also make fruit shakes from frozen fruits sprinkled with cacao nibs, dark chocolate or white chocolate. You may do "frappucinos" also... Just some ideas... good luck to you!

I like the idea of frappucinos.. even if there is a starbucks a block away.. cheap and easy item to offer, thanks !


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