A Day in the Life of Choc on Choc
We also have an incredibly diverse and talented team, each of whom is instrumental to the success of the company. We’ve got the makers in the factory, who hand-make all of our gorgeous products, using the patented Choc on Choc layering method; the packing team, who meticulously pack, wrap, and dispatch all of the completed orders to customers across the globe; and then there are the office ladies, who take the orders, manage distribution, and take care of all the nuts and bolts of running a small business. On top of that, we’ve got Fran and Kerr, who design and create our unique chocolate moulds, and Flo, our chief chocolate lady, flying all over the country to talk to buyers, suppliers, and everyone in-between. It’s non-stop here at Choc on Choc!
We’re early risers, with the makers starting as early as five in the morning. Whilst most people are still asleep, they’re in the factory, melting, moulding, and shaping chocolate for the week’s orders. Currently, there are seven makers who make thousands of chocolates every month, but at Christmas, the making team grows to accommodate for the huge rise in trade and mail orders. Generally, our week’s production is planned out the previous Friday, so the sooner we receive orders, the better.
The packing team are usually in next, from about 7am onwards. They’re headed by Nicky, who collects the week’s trade orders from the office, and plans and distributes the packing for the day. We try, wherever possible, to get all orders for trade produced, packed, and shipped within two weeks or less, although at Christmas, our lead times increase a little as we’re so busy.
Myself and the rest of the office staff start every morning at 9am. The morning is generally taken up with checking through emails and messages, processing new orders, and chasing bits and pieces from the day before. Urgent matters are dealt with as soon as possible, which sometime results in unfavourably early phone calls!
Time for a quick lunch, and then on with the daily marketing campaigns. Our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds are updated daily with details of our latest products, or promotions, or any other goings on here in the factory (they’re also a great place to grab sneak peeks of our new lines). Michele and Cheryl are our marketing gurus, who pen our weekly trade emails and get our chocolates out into the public eye for the world to see. We’ve been featured in The Guardian, The Metro, The Daily Mail, Good Housekeeping, BBC News Online,and many more – and that’s just this year.
By this point in the day, the makers have worked a full day, and it’s time for them to head home. The factory room is shut down, and production will continue the next day at 5am. This is also typically the time of day when we get a sneak peek at any new lines that Flo and Kerr are trying out, which is always an exciting time! We’ll often also get people popping in from the village to our tiny shop area to buy chocolate gifts directly from us, and to give us the latest on what’s going on in the village.
Afternoons are generally dedicated to ordering stock from our many suppliers. There’s so much that goes into the production of our chocolates aside from the chocolates themselves. The trays, the boxes, the labels, the ribbons, the inserts… the list goes on and on. So we’ll often order several times a week, to make sure that we stay ahead of the curve.
By this point in the day, it’s also normally time to book in our deliveries and plan the day’s shipments. Chris in distribution is responsible for the hundreds of boxes that leave our factory every day, and can often just be seen as a head above a stack of boxes.
At the end of the day (in which there are never enough hours!), it’s a matter of tying up the many bits and pieces that have flooded in during the day: staff and HR jobs, processing any last minute orders, calling delivery companies to chase orders, sending out trade catalogues and price lists to prospective customers, managing the bustling company diary, and much more. Then, once our last parcels are collected, we pull down the blinds, lock the doors, and head home, ready to start all over again in the morning.