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We’ve had numerous developments these last two weeks, leaving little time to write. The biggest event, of course, was Saturday’s show at the Quito Exposition Center, sponsored by the Diplomatic Ladies Association. We got in to this show at the last minute so I worked every day up to the show to make as much product as I could. This allowed me to measure just how much I could produce in a week’s time.
We experienced the response of many the uneducated or unsophisticated consumer, whose response to our prices was “But the swiss are selling one pound bars of chocolate for $6 dollars,” and would walk off scoffing at our prices. And the other 20% who we are aiming at, who would just say “What beautiful presentation, what delicious chocolates,” and didn’t bat an eye at paying $10 a box for a half pound.
The offers of help have been great too, hopefully we will be displaying and/or selling our products through the Alliance Francaise here in Quito, having tour groups from Europe come see the shop, and working to export to both South and North America.
In a little under a week, I was able to make about 30 pounds of truffles and bonbons, 10 pounds of chocolate bark, 10 pounds of peanut brittle, and 10 pounds of assorted other products. We were able to sell a good portion of this at the show. The more important part was the contacts we made. I met the Ambassador of a large South American country who is interested in helping me export the product to the major cities of his country, a café owner who would like to sell the product in her shop, and other individuals who want to keep buying from us.
Give the demand and publicity, we spent Monday converting what was the packaging room at the workshop into a small store, removing furniture, stacking the product neatly on the shelves, and just cleaning up.
Saturday I also met a Swiss producer of macadamia nuts and other nut products. I think back to the pastry equipment shop where they had all these products but wouldn´t tell me where I could purchase them wholesale; now I know just where to find them. This Swiss man in turn introduced me to another Swiss who owns some 300 hectares of cacao fino in Quevedo. He put me in touch with this Swiss farmer, who came to see me Monday morning.
Samuel is an older man who told me he’s been in the country three years. He sells his cacao primarily to Nestle France because Nestle Ecuador says the quality is not good enough…yeah, he couldn’t make sense of that either. When he was explaining this to me you could tell he was utterly confounded with Ecuadorian business people. He brought me some samples of very good chocolate he produces himself on the farm. I hope to visit the farm sometime in January or February when the harvest takes place.
See the photos of the event here:
|Quito Expo Center Sept. 22, 207|