Sugar Love Chocolate's Release Party for the 2016 Artist Collection was this past Tuesday, July 12th. The Artist Collection features the work of five Reno area artist on the top of five unique recipes. Each confection was crafted to match the interpreted mood of the artwork or the tastes of the artist for a truly unique box of chocolates. These limited edition boxes will be available for purchase in the retail location and online until the end of July 2016.
A three-piece jazz band created an amazing atmosphere for the event which was held in the Basement of the Old Post Office. Roughly four dozen attendees mingled with artists while trying the chocolates for the first time and sampling delicious small bites from Blend Catering. Five wines from Southern Wine were paired with each creation (and some Arnold Palmers for those of us spending the night sober).
It was the launch party for the Artist Collection and yet it felt like a celebratory finale for me. This was a major project and expense to take on, especially when I gave myself such little time to get it together (note to future self: take like three or more months, not five weeks, to get this done!). If you are interested in future events like this, make sure to stay in the loop by signing up for our newsletter!
Enjoy some of the photos taken on that day!
Every month, I love to create a new recipe for the store. For June, with Father's Day coming up, I made the Maple Bacon truffle. Because dads love bacon, right? And I know they love chocolate as they tell me all the time - it's helpful having a store next to a great barber.
And yes - it has bacon in it! I use a slightly dehydrated bacon that's in small diced chunks. The maple syrup (which also acts as this recipe's preservative) is boiled for two minutes to reduce the amount of water for a stronger maple flavor. The two are then mixed into a milk chocolate ganache made from the Belgian milk chocolate.
The result is a warm flavor with the taste of maple first and then the last flavor is of the bacon as you chew its texture. It's an interesting one for sure! And only available during June 2016 and by special order after July 1st.
Holy moly! It's already our first anniversary of filing the legal paperwork that made Sugar Love an almost reality! And now the store has been open 90 days which definitely has made Sugar Love an actual reality :) So much can and has changed in a year and I'm so thankful for all the support you and so many others have shown me in the last year of ups and downs. THANK YOU!
Now that I've got this store up and running - what's on the agenda? Besides creating new and surprising flavors (Peruvian ground cherries!), I'm working on writing that darned tome of a business plan. It's necessary in order to get a small business loan to expand into my own commercial kitchen (hopefully this summer) and maybe even that second location in the Bay Area (this fall maybe??).
So if you drop by the store and I'm typing away on my laptop, no I'm not *just* on Facebook, I'm likely also working on my 27th spreadsheet of possible scenarios for Sugar Love to dominate the world! (insert evil laugh track here)
This past weekend I got the opportunity to go to the Bay Area for two reasons: to attend one of the largest food conventions in the world and to scope out potential second locations! I found this awesome place called Swan's Market in Oakland and fell in love.
Did you know that today is the first day of my last semester in the master's program at UNR? Thank goodness! And also ack!!
I've decided on the two special recipes for February and have a good idea of what the production schedule is going to look like for the next few weeks - but I'm a little nervous! If you could take this survey, it will really help me out with planning for my first ever Valentine's Day rush!
What a great time we had at Fantasies in Chocolate! And I have such great friends that helped out :)
I feel like I've said that before - but we're almost open! I'm hoping that we'll be open on November 1st!
Fantasies in Chocolate, a Reno tradition celebrating chocolate and good times, will be my unofficial debut to the world! Woo-hoo! In Reno on Saturday, November 7th and want to come out and try my newest flavor: Banana Foster Caramel in dark chocolate? Buy a ticket today at the Fantasies in Chocolate website.
That seems to be the phrase I hear the most lately! I applied for the business license and permitting with the City of Reno over a month ago.
And yet here we are...
The lucky thing for me is that all this sitting around waiting to be approved had allowed me to tighten up some operational questions I had, order new equipment (guess who just received a big and heavy package from Europe??) and experiment with new recipes. So online sales now should be nearly perfect and hopefully flawless for you as customers. And remember, should you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me via social media or email email@example.com
Well I guess it's time to call it. We're sitting at 45% of the goal and only have 7 hours left.
I'd like to thank you all for the support through this campaign. I've learned quite a lot from the process - number one being that I'm not a natural marketer haha
But I've also got great news! Such amazing news!! I was awarded $20,000 from the city of Reno for the business! Which was more than I was seeking here and so Sugar Love Chocolates will be launching almost exactly as hoped for! I'll be getting the check (which I'm sad to say, will not be a giant novelty check haha) in a few weeks so by the end of July I'll have ordered the equipment to expand my chocolate making abilities!
YAY! Good things truly do happen!
If you would like to continue your support of Sugar Love, you've got two easy-peasy options:
1) Sign up for the newsletter if you haven't already. If you're on the list and provide your physical address, you have a chance to win a random Surprise Sugar Love box each week! Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bdPrvz
2) You can order your chocolates on the website starting today! Shipments will begin in about two or three weeks when I've received the packaging that I'm ordering. Images of the packaging are on the site, but I don't have any pictures yet of my chocolates in the boxes. Soon! You can order today at http://www.SugarLoveChocolates.com
Again - thanks for all your support! This has been an exhausting but wonderful experience. And I'm so thankful to be launching the business with all the support of you guys. Now I'm off to finish installing the flooring in the retail space! From chocolatier to contractor ;) haha
xo Krysta Bea
My kickstarter campaign has launched with the video today. Please take a second and see me looking like a dork who loves chocolate (which is exactly me haha how did they capture that so well??). https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1961114454/sugar-love-chocolates
I'm currently sitting at 8% of the goal amount and would love your support in expanding my equipment as I launch my retail location. Thank you for all the Sugar Love!
xo Krysta Bea
PS Here's a shot of my latest creation - the cherry black pepper truffle!
Since I'm still experimenting with recipes, I like to ask followers and subscribers what they would like to see. This past week, I chatted with a fan on Facebook who wanted to see a blueberry truffle.
I haven't seen many blueberry truffles and was up for the challenge! However, I think I've learned why we don't see many. Blueberry is a soft, gentle flavor and can quickly be masked by the strong flavor of even white chocolate. My experiment tasted more of chocolate than the large amount of blueberries in the recipe.
So my recipe this weekend was a total bust - bummer! But I'm not giving up yet. I think I'm going to experiment with a blueberry jelly. Maybe mixed with a thin layer of lemon infused white chocolate?
Have ideas or desires (in candy guys) that you'd like to see? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Lots of Sugar Love! -Krysta Bea Jackson