For nine years I’ve been sniffing chocolate—chocolate body lotion (yes, it contains cocoa), chocolate–scented candles and the real stuff, like chocolate butter creams and my biggest moneymaker, chocolate-covered potato chips. It’s been a fun, internet business that I began by following my passion. And, yes, the money did follow, although the economic trend of the past few years halted its growth.
It was a happy business. It didn’t matter whether it was a new chocolate soap or some chocolate-peanut butter fudge, it was always a treat, tasting or testing the products. There were also lots of memorable experiences with customers, friends who helped me, and the companies I worked with. Some frustrating times, too, but the good times far outweighed the bad.
Some of my most memorable products include chocolate thongs and chocolate voodoo dolls. Both companies that made these have, unfortunately, gone out of business. I’ll never forget the day when I came home from my real job to fifteen orders, mostly for the candy thongs, all of which had to ship immediately, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It was a clerical nighmare when some people ordered more than I had in stock. My site had taken the money for the missing items so I had to take extra time to email and credit their cards in between the wrapping. Interesting, too, is how voodoo doll sales always went up after Valentine’s Day. I had my own theory about disgruntled lovers purchasing them when they didn’t receive the Valentine gift they were hoping for.
I knew it was time to leave when I began resenting the space the business occupied in my home and becoming annoyed by the frustrated calls from customers on my answering machine when I dared to spend a few days away. It’s an internet business. Shouldn’t it run itself while I’m away? Even the best experiences have to end sometime.
Still, it’s a bittersweet parting (no pun intended), like graduating from high school or walking away from an exciting relationship that turned ugly. It caught me by surprise when I found myself teary-eyed taking the chocolate candy off the website last month. I realized later that my sadness was for the past, not for the present or future. I look forward to having more time and freedom to write and travel. Change is always a little difficult, even in the best of circumstances. Don’t you think?
Chocolate Sensations officially closes on June 30th. Many thanks to all my wonderful customers and the loyal friends and family that have always been supportive of this business endeavor. Special thanks to David Bradley Chocolatier and Lathers & Lights. I couldn’t have done it without all of you!
Can some of you relate to a bittersweet parting? Were you also surprised by sadness when you walked away from an experience you thought you had tired of?