Hello and good day!
Isn't it nice when you start to string together a streak of hitting your goals?
For example, if you set a new year's resolution to do something, and you get to the 13th day of the year, and you've hit the goal every single day, that feels really good.
And the more you hit a goal, the more likely you are to keep hitting your goal because you start to develop habits and routines.
Last year, just before holiday season shopping kicked off, we set the goal of putting up one new product online per week. We've got a lot of products in our retail shops that aren't online yet and ideally, we'd like the shops and the online store to have the same product line up.
It isn't just that easy though, because the shops serve only the little town of Issaquah, WA. The online store serves the entire country, and the volume is much higher online.
Things started to get pretty busy during the holiday season and just one or two weeks in, we had to abandon the goal.But we are back on track now, and I am very happy that for the second week in a row, we have a new product to announce.
This week's product was determined to a large extent by outside forces.
That doesn't take away from how good and delicious the product is, but the fact of the matter is that we are running dangerously low on dark chocolate, and we need the printer to send us labels if we are going to put a new product online.
This week's product is a milk chocolate product, and the printer sent us these labels before the others that we've ordered.
I am very proud to announce our 36% milk chocolate peanut clusters.
We previously had a milk chocolate peanut product online, but we took it down because it didn't sell well. There are a number of reasons for that I believe, but to my mind, the real problem was that peanuts and milk chocolate go better in a cluster when prepared in our kitchen.
The other product was made in our panning machines and when we panned the peanuts, they all clumped together and we didn't get good coverage on the peanuts.
A couple of people complained about it in their reviews and the product stopped selling. As a result, any time we did a run, the product went bad before we were able to sell it all.
This new iteration already sells well in the stores, so we know for sure that people like it. You get a nice disk of very creamy, Swiss made milk chocolate, with several fresh, crunchy peanuts inside the round. Then we hit it with a sprinkle of sea salt on top.
We like to use unsalted peanuts, because salted peanuts tend to have oil on them to make the salt stick. We prefer to salt the chocolate and not have to deal with the texture and taste of the oil. I know that a lot of chocolate purists out there don't like milk chocolate, but I say it loud and proud.
I am a milk chocolate person. And I love this product! You really want to load up a milk chocolate cluster with a lot of peanuts. That balances out some of the sweetness. Javier, our wonderful chocolatier, is a pro at balancing flavors. You can count on that.
A little back story about the 36% milk chocolate. It was our second ever product. We only sold the 68% dark chocolate for a good 6 or 7 years. We were a one product company.
One day, our very first client ever, the owner of a Swiss bakery chain name Roger Von Rotz, approached us about doing a milk chocolate. We told him that we had no idea how to proceed.
He said that he more or less knew what he wanted, and he sent the specifications to our chocolate manufacturer, Max Felchlin AG. Felchlin made some samples and sent them back to Roger, and Roger felt it was the best milk chocolate he had ever tasted.
He has been using it as his exclusive milk chocolate in his shops since then.
Thankfully, he agreed to buy enough for us to do a good sized run and we were able to send some to the United States. It has been a successful part of our line up since then.
Most Europeans who I meet living in the United States despise American made chocolate. On the whole, I think this is because they are accustomed to eating American made milk chocolate.
In the United States, chocolate only needs to have a cacao percentage of 10% to legally be called chocolate. The rest can be oils and flavorings, but if it has 10% cacao, they can call it chocolate.
Most of the chocolate you see in stores is very low percentage milk chocolate. And this gives milk chocolate something of a bad reputation.
When done right, in the Swiss or European style, milk chocolate can be extremely rich, delicious, and satisfying. At 36% cacao, our lightest milk chocolate is three and a half times darker than your standard industrial American milk chocolate.
It is smoother, more flavorful, and in every way more satisfying than the milk chocolate that most Americans are accustomed to. And I'll be darned if it doesn't go just beautifully with peanuts and a touch of sea salt.
In preparation for putting these online today, yesterday I spent some time in the kitchen tasting these clusters. Kind of cool that my work preparation is eating milk chocolate peanut clusters huh?
Anyhow, I got a chance to remember how much I like roasted peanuts. In fact, I went ahead and grabbed a handful of roasted peanuts to snack on during my drive home.
In the cluster the peanut and crunch with the very smooth creaminess that fills the space in between the peanuts is what makes this a very good product. I highly recommmend them if peanuts and milk chocolate are your thing.
You won't be disappointed.
Next week, I am hoping that we can put up 47% dark milk chocolate rice krispy treats. We have our own take on these. We use a big, organic, rice puff and we put the marshmallows on the inside.
And once we know the status of the dark chocolate shipment that is en route, I'd really love to get our dark chocolate mint patties online. We make the filling from scratch and they are phenomenal.
Anyhow, if you'd like to take a look at the milk chocolate peanut clusters, just click the link below to take a look.
I thank you very kindly for your time today. I hope at you have a truly blessed day!
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