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THE CHOCOLATE VAULT GOES GLOBAL WITH INTERNET

 
 
 

 
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Chocolate Vault goes global with Internet
by Deb Wuethrich July 25, 2002


Barb McCann has Friends all over the world.  Since creating a website for the Chocolate Vault, the business she and Jim McCann own at 100 W. Chicago Boulevard, she gets daily e-mails not only from the United States, but from England, Norway and Germany, to name a few.

"And they keep coming back." she said.  Some have ordered before, like thewoman who describes the person she wants to purchase a unique gift for,what their interests are and then trusts Barb to come up with something. "She knows I know what she wants." There are also companies that have standing orders, and each week Jim and Barb ship items such as personalized chocolate business cards to corporate clients - or potential clients - who make the requests.

Five years ago, Barb says she knew very little about Internet technology but took on the challenge of learning.  Demand for novelty chocolates is growing, and consumers look for themselves when giving gifts or planning special occasions such as weddings.  Barb and Jim have watched the trend take off for several years, since Barb has been teaching candymaking and selling supplies in Tecumseh for nearly three decades.  Still, she is amazed by some of the requests.

One young Lady recently e-mailed about her wedding reception plans.
"She was going to have 10 tables and each had to have a different theme relating in some way to their courtship." Barb said.  It's a tall order, but she's become accustomed to the different things people will ask.  If a couple met in Paris, for instance, they might want a chocolate Eiffel Tower, which the Chocolate Vault can provide.  They have thousands of molds.  Even on-line customers are often pleasantly surprised at what they can provide and also by the added dimension they'll get at the www.chocolatevault.com site:  customer service.

"I try to treat people on-line the same way as in the store," Barb said.  She starts with a greeting like "Hi, can I help you?" They'll then say something like, "I'll bet you don't have a chocolate cactus."  Invariably, the Chocolate Vault will not only have what they want but have different sizes, and it will come in milk chocolate or dark.

Since embarking on the Internet portion of their venture, which Jim likens to their "branch office," the McCanns have learned some things.  They've discovered having a physical store lends them more on-line credibility with customers.  It helps show they know about chocolate, they make it themselves, and they have quality control, something that's important to them as well as to their customers.  They've learned the biggest drawback is the expense of their 2-3 day shipping window.  There are places where shipping is impossible, like the Far East, but they get orders from there, often directed to U.S. friends and family.

ŠTecumseh Herald 2002
 

 

 


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Last Update: 05/08/2016 01:30 PM by BMc/RMc