Small Business Fund Nominee Stories & Voting
*Answers below are taken verbatim from entry.
Annies Chocolates was started 24 years ago Annie is a self taught chocolate maker who just learned by tried and tested recipes. Annies great grandma was a candy maker in Collingwood in the 1800's her recipe book was passed down to Annie.
Today Annie's husband and 3 children all work for the business, making, packaging, and selling the products. Annie is so proud of the hard work that each person puts into the business to make it better. With 24 years of ups and downs Annie has learned that if you work hard and don't give up that you are and will be able to obtain success in whatever you choose to do. The chocolates are made with a special blend of dutch chocolate that has been a crowd favourite as well as our chocolate dipped butter tarts which was one of Annies first creations. We as a business and family try our best to give back to the community and people with donations to better others lives around us, we are truly blessed to be able to do what we love to do make people happy and make chocolate.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR STRATEGY THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC?
When the cover 19 close downs started to happen in mid March we were completely in shock, in the chocolate business your 2 biggest holidays are Christmas and Easter we had been preparing chocolates for a couple of months. We had purchased a lot of supplies excepting to have a successful Easter. This would have been our first Easter in our new location on Hyde Park rd. in London our popularity has just jumped in the last few months with the exposure of the new location, we had been in Arva for the past 8 years and needed a larger retail store. So after a lot of thinking and trying to decide what we were going to do... the only thing we thought of was let's try to do some online sales and see what happens. To our surprise the online sales came in like we had never seen before, people were so happy that they could buy treats for their kids and that Easter would not be spoiled during this covid19 issue. We offering free local delivery to London and outside areas and as well we were able to offer at store pick up. It was a blessing to be able to be able to have sales to keep the business going. Currently we are still offering online shopping with local delivery and store pick up as well we don't know what the next couple of months hold for us we just try to take things day by day and look forward to when we can open our doors to our customers and be able to serve them in person.
HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC & SHUTDOWN AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?
I don't know other than the sales have decreased with one retail store with is closed and the bills still need to be paid, and the other store is closed except for pick ups from the online store. We are aware that social distancing is very important and that proper hand sanitizing and hand washing is even more important than ever. We feel that even though we are going through this we have amazing customers who have and do support us we have gotten so many thank you and we appreciate what you do, some people find comfort at the LCBO while others have told us that we have been that lifesaver to them during this time.