October 2011 Newsletter
This year’s letter is going to be difficult to write – not because we have had anything terrible happen in our lives, but because we are going to be making some changes in how we do our business.
We have been in business for more than 25 years beginning part time from our basement and selling at the local Dane Co. Farmer’s Market. As many of you know I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer 14 years ago and our health insurance went through the roof. As a result we weren’t been able to save money for retirement and have had to continue working. We both turned 66 this year and it is getting more difficult to get through our winter season. We make our chocolate by hand so there is a lot of labor involved. We realized at the end of last Christmas season that we both were exhausted.
Because it is important for us to keep our emphasis on quality chocolate and service to our local customers, we have decided not to offer our chocolate via mail order beginning this season. We will continue to sell our line of chocolates here in Oregon. You also have the option to order chocolate for pick up at our shop.
This has been a very difficult decision for us both. Many of you have ordered chocolate for a long time. Over the years I have received get well cards, letters and phone calls. It feels like I am letting down friends I have known for years. This is the last letter we will be sending out by USPS. From now on we will be putting the letter on our web site along with our holiday hours, Art Fair dates and pick up order information that we usually mail. We will continue to send a reminder every year to our local customers.
Thank you for your kindness throughout all these years.
Twenty years ago we began sending this letter to our Dane Co. Farmer’s Market customers. It became a little bit of a tradition. It was a way of continuing the conversations we had at the market about life, family, politics and everything else under the sun. I always had fun with it. Well…not always! I shared a little bit of my life and my difficulty trying to become an almost upstanding citizen. Through the years, people responded to some of my opinions with a gentle reminder that maybe I was here to sell chocolate, not to proselytize. In some cases, I have to agree that I went slightly overboard. But I enjoyed the ride. Because of it you made me a better citizen.
I didn’t sleep very well while we were in the process of making the decision not to mail chocolate anymore. But it had to be done. I thank you and wish you many wonderful years.
P.S. I want you to know that because I’m not a total Luddite, you will still find some of my continuing struggles to become a good citizen on our web page next year.
The Chocolate Caper
105 S. Main Street
Oregon, WI 53575