• New Shop: 3 Months Later

    Every day since opening the new shop 3 months ago we’ve been asked the question: “How is everything going in the new shop?” Things are fantastic. Our new-shop problems are awesome.

    We initially planned to see around half as many people through our doors as have actually visited. That estimate felt like a safe bet. Maybe those expectations were too conservative. Since opening our doors, we’ve come very close to selling out of chocolate at least three times, we’ve had to hire up multiple superhero part time employees, and the total hours has nearly tripled. This is awesome! But it does present its own set of problems to solve.

    New Bar Menu

    Below is a rough mock up of what we are considering for the area next to the bar / fire door. The font is bold and we think it looks pretty cool. A light will go above the menu to give it more prominence. What do you think?

    The menu will have drinking chocolate options. It was clear early on that people want their chocolate beverages! Summer was a hot one this year, so we started with a few cold options first. With more production in the kitchen comes more opportunity to experiment, which led us to offer a couple new things currently on the menu:

    Cold-Brew Coffee Nitrous Shot: The cold brew is something we’ve sold for a while, but Aaron had the idea to send it through the commercial whipped cream dispenser under the same nitrous gas that the whipped cream requires. The result? A cup of pure coffee foam goodness, much like a proper Guinness pour. Many folks who order this mention seeing something similar at a few coffee shops. Come try ours, let us know what you think.

    Italian Sodas: Aaron’s been making simple syrups with the leftover ingredients from the truffle making process, such as cilantro & jalapeno, cardamom, vanilla bean, and Tasmanian pepperberries. These simple syrups make delicious Italian sodas with just a bit of carbonated water. We’ve been pleased to see people just as happy to explore flavor this way as through the chocolate, however we have no intention of competing with Dry Soda just a couple blocks away. [chuckle]

    Homemade Whipped Cream: Eventually hot cocoa and sipping chocolates will make their way onto our bar menu. A delicious whipped cream was an important step in that project. Aaron’s been mixing in ingredients like cacao nibs and cardamom to make some decadent and wonderful whipped creams that will eventually complete an unforgettable cup of cocoa.

    Art Wall

    The art wall is thriving and full! It’s not uncommon for people to stop into the shop just to check out all of your cool photos that make it onto the wall. On average right now, we see about 80 or so blocks leave the shop on a weekly basis. If you pass by the shop on a Wednesday or Thursday morning you might see me making more. It’s a lot of work, but so fulfilling to see people enjoy.

    You can still participate if you wish. Email me (karl@intriguechocolate.com) your Instagram handle to let me know it’s ok to pull photos from your feed and I’ll pick a few that are appropriate.

    Signage

    We are still waiting on our shop signs to go up. It’s been a constant uphill battle between getting approved by the city and finding a sign maker that can get the job done. We hope to complete that project in the next couple of weeks, both the hand-painted large logo in our main window and the lettering on the awning. Then we’ll tackle the smaller items like shop hours in the door windows.

    What’s Next?

    Hot Cocoa and Sipping Chocolate: The weather is getting cooler and many of you are starting to request sipping chocolate. We are working on the logistics of making these in the shop, and as soon as the process produces stellar results, we’ll share with you.

    Honeys, Tempered Chocolate Bars, Nibs, and Tea Blends: These have always been a dream of ours to offer. There are so many wonderful flavors in this world! Chocolate isn’t the only medium by which to explore them. We are working with our designers to create labels and selecting packages that will be both shelf sturdy and attractive.

    Current Flavors on Website: A common request. Inventory turns over so quickly it is difficult to conceptualize a way to post exactly what flavors are available at what time. Part of the appeal of our shop is that there is always something new and delicious available! But that also means that flavors sell out mid day, or faster than expected. We are working on a way to do this, however. Maybe we’ll tweet a list each day? Maybe. So far, the best way to find out what is in the box is to drop by or call the shop.

    Thank you for all the feedback and support!

  • Comments on this post (2 comments)

    • Karl Mueller says…

      Great suggestion Mom Barthel!

      on September 10, 2015

    • Mom Barthel says…

      Here is how I would do the wall message:
      TAKE YOUR TIME.
      BREATHE.
      LET THE
      CHOCOLATE
      TELL ITS STORY.
      I would put the “c” on the word “chocolate” in a font like the “c” on your logo.

      on September 08, 2015

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