Welcome to my second ever blog ! Its been so long since my first published blog when we launched, and I just have so much to say, I thought I’d jump right in there and nail it today ! Such a shitty cold wet day, and I feel inspired to share.
Somehow in the space of 8 months I’ve pushed out 5 product babies, built a strong online following and a loyal family of around 30 dedicated retail stores across Aoteoroa. I’m not going to lie – it’s been challenge after challenge – after challenge !! But as they say; just when the going gets really tough – something amazing will happen ! And amazing things just keep happening ! I’ve had the most awesome hand ups, contacts and random connections come my way – it truly blows my mind ! I do believe doing business in the world of organics is a blessed way to build a business, and that if your dreams REALLY come from the heart, then you can’t go too far wrong.
We’ve just entered the NZ Artisan Awards, and the NZ Chocolate Awards for the first time, and I’ve really had to pull my “big kid” pants up to make all this happen.
We’re also exhibiting at the NZ Coffee and Chocolate Show at the Cloud in Auckland 6-7 October. Yep, we’ll be right in there amongst all the grown up chocolatiers, shaking in our boots !
We’ve just had our first custom chocolate mould made, and this will debut with our new chocolate bars in the coming weeks – it hasn’t arrived just yet – so I’m literally stalking my PO Box, perhaps a bit too much ! What is they say about watching pots boil ?
So that’s what is coming up, now for a bit of a recap of the previous 8 months.
We did our first big show at the NZ Coffee Festival at Shed 10 in March. I’m a staunch “people person” and really love getting out there and having that invaluable face time with customers. There is no better way to get mass, honest feedback !
We found out the hard way that there is a lot of seasonal variation to taste, consistency, and availability of organic food ingredients, and we’ve made a few taste tweaks along the way, to ensure our quality and taste integrity prevails. We’ve teamed up with several amazing NZ companies to promote our products, and get the word out there in the world of social media.
We bought our first “serious” piece of equipment, in January and can now bulk melt our chocolate mass, without having to rely on manual methods for every step. I was very lucky in that I was able to home test a fairly expensive piece of equipment before committing to the spend – why lucky you say ? Because it turns out it was something we really didn’t “need”, just yet, and actually there are so many other things that have to be invested in first.
We released new flavours Cash Cao and Monkey Bar in June, to compliment our 3 original bars. Cash Cao is a blend of cashew nuts, coconut and crunchy cacao nibs. Monkey Bar has roasted peanuts, coconut and chewy Fair Trade Samoan bananas. Mmmmmmmm lip smacking goodness !
We exhibited at the Northland Women’s Lifestyle Expo in Whangarei earlier this month, which gave us the opportunity to jump into unchartered territory, and also to rub shoulders with some pretty major NZ brands. It was my epically amazing 9 year old daughter who convinced me “we can do this show Mum, just you and me” when I wasn’t sure – and did she go all out ! I’ve managed to inspire quite the little lady boss ! We both came away with full hearts, and dry throats from all the talking. Her one criteria was that we had to stay somewhere with a spa pool. Fair enough too, and it was just what we needed at the end of each day.
For the immediate future, we have a fabulous Father’s Day promotion going on, and a Father’s Day gift with purchase promo on our online store.
We are going plastic free ! We’re switching our packaging over to fully recyclable and compostable packaging over the coming months, which means soon, we will have a beautiful packaging transition to release !
We have several new very innovative and exciting products lined up for you, which I will share with you very soon. So on that note, I’m going to sign off and head back under the wide brimmed design hat, for the rest of the day.
Before I go though, there’s a lot of talk on socials about intention setting and LOVE as a food ingredient. WHAAAAT ???? YES !!!! I actually do set intentions when I make chocolate; for it to be filled with love, and for it to be the best that it can be, and if I’m not feeling 110% chocolate love on the day, I wait until I have that feeling back before donning the pinny ! Why ? Because if I can taste the difference, you certainly could too, and brand integrity is paramounts here at Earth Monkey.
Take it easy and remember that Earth Monkey raw, organic, artisan chocolate is not only good for you and the planet, it makes you feel bloody fantastic !
Love and thanks, Ange x