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Readers, my apologies for my long absence. It’s been a difficult year-we shut down Aequare Chocolates and stopped exporting as we couldn’t get a hold in the US market. We attribute this to several factors including but not limited, nor in any specific order: bad economy, saturated market for chocolates, lack of experience, lack of funding, etc. We also met any number of shysters, hucksters, con men, snake-oil salesmen, and people who generally just suck all the oxygen out of the room when they walk in, whether they need to or not, along the way.
On a better note, we are producing for a client that will remain anonymous for the moment, but we can say it’s the gourmet brand of chocolate belonging to a major Ecuadorian-based multinational company that sells worldwide in over 38 countries. Their chocolate is available in the US market, but only in bar form. We were chosen, after five months of negotiations and five tasting sessions, to be their provider of filled chocolates.
They recently opened a store in the Plaza Foch in the Mariscal section of Quito. We hope they do well there, because it means we will do well. Also, if they can’t sell chocolates in one of the best locations in Quito, then it was just never meant to be. I say this for several reasons. One, because they are in the heart of Quito’s tourism district where the clientele exists. Two, because they are in one of the few locations in Quito where there is constant foot traffic. Three, because this week is Fiestas de Quito, and if they don’t sell this week, which should be one of the best and busiest weeks of the year, it is a good indicator that there is just not a large enough market to sustain a chocolate shop in Quito that focuses primarily on pralines (filled chocolates). For them, it’s not a problem, because filled chocolates is not the main focus of the shop-it’s more about merchandising their bars, hats, t-shirts, etc. and all the stuff that goes with the “aura” they’re trying to create around their products, but for its, well, let’s just say we’ll take it as a sign. And finally, with an optimal location and a beautifully decorated store, if they can’t sell, well, it’s a good thing we never made the investment to open a store here in Quito.
We are fortunately quite busy with the holidays, some consulting work in a number of areas related to chocolate and cacao, and other things. I will do my best to not have such a long hiatus and bring you more about Ecuador in the very near future!