A Favors Favor


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It’s hard to believe that BonBonBar has been in business for over 4 months now. The weeks go by so quickly, and before I know it, I’m off to the kitchen again on weekends to cook sugar, make ganache, temper chocolate, and everything else besides. Thankfully, I’m getting used to the production routine –and it’s becoming a routine in a good way, in that I can make everything almost by instinct, and if I or the ingredients stray, I just feel that something is off and I can usually figure out what it is.

Sales are becoming somewhat more consistent, too, but the seasonality of chocolate is always a concern. If unprotected in the summer, it simply melts; and it’s not too soon for me to deal with this — it was 85F in LA this past weekend (I survived it, and was grudgingly grateful for the practice run in heat with little pressure). I’ll be able to ship Ground and USPS in the summer in Southern California b/c it takes 1 day, but for other areas of the country, it’ll have to go overnight, which will cut down on sales given the expense. All boxes will contain ice packs and insulation, too, which I am researching now.

Also, the summer holidays aren’t exactly chocolate-friendly — few traditionally have truffles for 4th of July… Or marshmallows for Labor Day.

But it occurred to me that people often make their own very special holidays in the summer that chocolate and confections can fit very well into — and that would be weddings.

I think that handmade candy bars and marshmallows could make for fantastic wedding favors — they’re unique and tasty; people tend to get excited about them, and that would be a great way end the wedding day. The labels could be customized with the couple’s names and colors. And for some bars, I can do them as “fun-size” as well as of full size. As long as the reception is indoors, they should be fine. I also want to introduce products like wrapped caramels for the summer that aren’t as sensitive to heat as chocolate.  I could make different shapes for marshmallows, too, if clients want.

My confections could also work as favors for baby showers, dinner parties, or any other type of party for that matter.

Now, my question is, does anyone have any leads for how to get exposure for this, especially in Southern California? I think it would rely on word of mouth to an extent, but I am thinking about who to contact with samples to reach more people — wedding planners? bridal shops? who else? And who specifically?  Or where to post about it online, or maybe advertise online?  I can send samples in to bridal magazines, but the turnaround time, if I make it in at all, will be much longer.  I don’t have much experience with weddings or their resources — Martha Stewart and TheKnot are the extent of it.

If anyone has any contacts, ideas, or leads about anything having to do with wedding and party favors, please email me at nina[at]bonbonbar.com or leave a comment. Thank you!

8 Responses to “A Favors Favor”

  1. jenny Says:

    I used http://www.bridalinsider.com for my san diego wedding plans a few years ago. I’m not sure how vendors would approach, but they do have ads on the website, so you could try that.

  2. Nina Says:

    Cool, thanks, Jenny, that site’s new to me!

  3. Jane Says:

    Hey Nina, I think it’s a great idea to branch out into weddings. I thought of asking you if you did wedding favors last year…but that was before BonBonBar really took off.

    Another popular website is http://www.herecomestheguide.com. They have a website and magazines that are locally based.

    Another strong resource are the local “The Knot” message boards. Vendors aren’t supposed to advertise on the boards, but I could post a recommendation for your favors once you have things going. You can check out the boards by going to http://www.theknot.com, clicking on “talk” and picking local boards.

  4. Jane Says:

    Oh, and Claire used a wedding planner in Orange County. I could ask Claire for her name if you’d like.

  5. Nina Says:

    Jane — Cool, thanks! I didn’t know about those either. I’m working on my favors page to put on my website, and when I have all of my info together, I’ll email you.

    And if you could find out the name of Claire’s wedding planner and let me know, that would be great! I’m searching online, and it’s a bit daunting to sort through who’s who.

  6. Stephanie Caffee Says:

    Wedding fairs are sort of a bust. I have been to my share (my mother has been a wedding/party caterer for over 20 years) and it is pretty much hit or miss, mostly DJs and photographers and people wanting to snack on caterers free treats. The ones at hotels seem to be the smallest, try a larger venue if you are really interested in fairs. Good luck!

  7. Paul Dulaney Says:

    Not wedding related, but a suggestion.

    I would try to get one of my bars included in one of those gourmet boxed dinners that different caterers make for the Hollywood Bowl.

  8. Nina Says:

    Stephanie – Thanks for letting me know!

    Paul – Thanks — that’s a great idea! It would be a really good snack for a concert.

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