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We were busy last week preparing for and participating in ¨Todo para Tu Boda¨or “Everything for your Wedding” sponsored by Tules y Novias, one of, if not Ecuador’s most elite bridal shop. We made a deal of cash and chocolate to participate, rather than the full cash fee, which worked out well for both Tules y Novias and us. We got some free promotion and barter lowered costs for us, while Tules y Novias got a quality product to give to its VIPs as well as payment for the stand. 

When Cristi, my sister-in-law, and I first arrived the day before the event to assess how to set up, we weren’t concerned that we had absolutely no plan whatsoever about how to decorate our 3m x 3m space. Next to us on one side was the Swiss Hotel with two elaborate table settings and fancy posters, and on the other was Villavieja, a Hacienda in Quito now rented out for weddings and other events, also decorated with elaborate table settings beneath a metal structure fully decorated with lighting and fabrics.

We had been promised a 1.8m x 1m table with white tablecloth and two chairs for our display. Upon looking around, we saw that nobody, but nobody, had in place the tables and chairs offered in the contract; rather, all had brought in their own elaborate furniture, publicity posters, and products.We immediately decided we would have to hang the 3m x 2.4m publicity poster I had initially printed for our first event last month. It would fit perfectly in the back of our space.

Returning an hour later with the poster, we were fortunate enough to have help with a ladder from our neighbors at Villavieja. We hung the posters and headed home. The following morning I headed to Fresflor, one of the best flower shops in Quito, with my mother-in-law to order a flower arrangement. People were rushing about as we weren’t the only ones there for this very same event. We eventually got someone to make an arrangement for us on the spot. Since Ecuador is a mecca for flowers because of the export industry, we were able to pick and choose from dozens of fresh flowers brought in that morning from the many flower plantations within hours or less of Quito.

The first day of the event, which didn’t begin until 6 pm, we arrived at about 4 pm to set up. Our table was no more than a 1m x .8m rectangle. This was not what we had expected. I wasn’t too concerned; having catering experience helps one deal with the unexpected, but Cristi immediately spoke to the one of the banquet managers and we soon had the originally promised table put it in place.

I had made a small chocolate Christmas tree as a showpiece, along with a chocolate bowl and pedestal, some colored chocolate curls, and a computer slideshow to exhibit the product line. All this fit nicely on the table, along with our bouquet of flowers made for us that morning. You can see the final result in the photos.

The place swarmed with women in jewels like you´d see in no other part of Ecuador and men in suits the first night and we gave away tons of chocolate and bonbons. We met many of the important big catering firms, as well as event managers at many of the small country inns that hold weddings and other events. I also met several “chefs”; I wasn’t sure just who is, and how they consider themselves, chefs here, as many of them never told me where they worked or what they were doing out two nights in a row.

The second day the event started at 11 but was fairly dead throughout the day.By the evening cocktail and fashion show the crowd had increased again, but never so much as the first night. Nonetheless, sales were brisk and we had a lot of interest in the product and got a lot of good publicity.Nearly all of the public couldn’t believe the tree and pedestal at our stand were made of chocolate…chocolate! “No lo puedo creer” and “De verdad!?” -“I can’t believe it” and “Really…for real?” were the main exclamations of most visitors. I am now just hoping the orders and phone calls will come in with as much enthusiasm as we were greeted with at this event. Since most of my potential future clients will be placing orders in the hundreds of pieces, rather than just a box or two, I am looking forward to a busy holiday season.

Tules y Novias Event

Welcome to Destination Ecuador!

Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>

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