So now, here we are on the Sunshine Coast for two years and loving the change from city life and some of the issues that American society is grappling with. We have gone from a four thousand square foot space with ten employees, including a store front a block away from the New York Stock Exchange and shipping our products internationally, to ninety two square meters on the entry level to our house located in Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast overlooking the ocean!
We had quite the dog and pony show in New York. We set trends by making exquisite chocolates and chocolate products with unique styles, flavor combinations and packaging that, at the time, was unusual for the chocolate industry. We sourced as much as we could locally, except our chocolate which came from Valrhona in France. Scaling down significantly, I am now only making a series of ten chocolate bars more traditional in flavour but with the quality Christopher Norman Chocolates is known for! I do, however, make some chocolates occasionally, but only for fund raising events and some left over for friends.
With creating only chocolate bars it makes it very easy to comply with Zero Waste Canada criteria. I do not work with the myriad of ingredients, packaging, and shipping logistics that we used to, not to mention the chocolates’ temperature control on the East Coast during summer!
We have only three tempering kettles, one each for dark, white, and milk chocolate. I am the only one making the chocolate bars, and I work very fast and efficiently producing absolutely zero waste with the product, except for the few shaving that fall to the floor and end up in the compost with the floor sweepings. Any reject bars are used in store tastings and promotions.
I keep a small inventory of ingredients as well as finished product. Once the bars are released from the molds they are wrapped in paper-lined foil, placed in a vellum sleeve, then labeled and dated. Unfortunately at the moment, paper lined foil is not recyclable, but it is necessary as the chocolate cannot come into contact with the foil. The foil works with the design element that has long been established. All other components are recyclable, with the recycle symbol printed on the retail display case they are packed in.
For shipping we reuse any materials we can such as newsprint, cardboard boxes. We ask that our suppliers not send us things bubble wrapped, but invariably we get some that we also reuse. I have just ordered our first shipping boxes, up to now we have been able to ship with left over boxes from our move out here!
Our local stores we deliver in brown paper gift bags that I have received things in and have used the same few over and over again. We are still required by our bigger accounts to use invoice and packing slip pouches, and tape is an issue.