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December 13, 2016
It’s the holiday season! That means the kitchen and the shop are in full swing, and all hands are on deck. This is the most exciting, most intensive time for the Intrigue staff. And it’s wonderful. Happy holidays, everyone!
The last day to order chocolate with a reasonable expectation that it will show up before the 25th is Tuesday, the 20th. We will still ship out Wednesday the 21st and Thursday the 22nd, but depending on how far the chocolate needs to travel, and the efficiency of the USPS, it may or may not arrive before Sunday the 25th. Any orders received later than noon on Thursday the 22nd will be shipped out the following Monday, the 26th.
We’ve added a few items to the shelf for the holidays that are complimentary to the teas and coffees we already sell. There’s a lot of science behind the brewing process, and each method yields a slightly different flavor. At Intrigue, we tend toward methods that allow the coffee or tea a maximum exposure to the water during the brew process, and we prefer tools that are easy to clean. So, we picked up a few gadgets for you that we recommend (and that we use ourselves). Our staff are happy to talk about the big benefits in these small packages.
Holiday lights are up in the shop! Our building managers put up garland on the outside of the building every year, so we try to echo the season with the lights in our window. It always looks so festive, and casts a warm light throughout the shop. Quite cheerful.
We’ve had the good fortune to work with several partners this year for their holiday orders. For one of our larger orders we had to get a little creative. Check it out!
These cocoas + mug gift were part of a larger package being shipped by the client, and we hope it makes an impression. Now that we have this figured out, it is something we’ll offer other businesses next year.
Truffles are always our limited resource in December. Since they are perishable, we have a limited window in which we can produce enough to fill demand. This year is different because we have more staff than we’ve had in the past, but not that different because demand is the highest it’s ever been. For us that means some late nights over the next two weeks. For you, that means order sooner than later! We push ourselves to fill every order we can through the 24th, but demand this year is particularly high, and it’s already a close call. The additional products we carry in our shop now seem like a holiday gift to ourselves, and an extra opportunity for you to find something for the trickier giftees on your list.
This season we are highlighting the Truffle of the Month Club membership. We’ve made some changes you might like. In addition to a collection of chocolate every month, the membership includes a 30% discount online all the time, or 30% off anything in the store the day you come to pick up your chocolate. This also means you can gift a TMC to someone else who receives the chocolate every month, but gives you the discount for the duration of that membership. Think about it!
Last month we introduced the concept of our team contributing to our social media. It’s been a huge success! Here’s a few of the photos the team has contributed so far:
We also had the good fortune of winning a Square Register photo contest! The goal was to show off the NFC + chip system with a photo. A big *high five* to Matt for the photo that won us about $250 (which will go toward our next team building / fun activity). It's also a fun reminder that we can accept Google Wallet and Apple Pay, so you can pay securely with your phone.
Our new cocoa labels are in! You won’t see these beauties on the shelf just yet, but they will trickle in as we move through inventory. We didn’t have time to release the other flavors of cocoa this year in time for the holidays, but this is an early announcement that they will be available soon: Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Mint.
This is a difficult and controversial topic, so I want to avoid the politics of it with this post. But it is important to acknowledge: increasing wages for our fine team means increasing prices on our fine products. Everything we make is by hand – the confection, wrapping and labeling each truffle, folding and assembling the boxes, free sampling and long conversations with customers in the shop - so the issue affects us even more than larger companies. I may follow up with a more detailed post about how a minimum wage affects us, and affects the decisions we’ll make in the future, but for now it’s just an early notice that we’ll need to adjust in January. The bright silver lining about the whole affair is this: when you buy from Intrigue you directly support the hard working Seattle people that provided you a small luxury. And that’s what a business is supposed to be about, right?
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