Monday, January 4, 2010

Au revoir Noël! Bonjour L’hiver!

Running our two “dainty” chocolateries pendant Noël has challenged us since my last post, more than two weeks ago. I rank it up there with a grueling, month-long marathon, although I am exceedingly grateful for the business. Simple daily shop tasks are not what strained us, really. The energy and piling demands of La Châtelaine becomes erratic, reminding me of the exhausting “Can-Can” musical.
Thank goodness for loyal employees, whose workload increased threefold. They didn’t complain much – not to my face at least – about trimming 1,000 yards of ribbon, piping pounds and pounds of truffles, repainting chocolate moulds, stuffing thousands of paper candy cups with chocolates, or the implicit pressure to work late, not unlike Santa’s elves.
We crowded our store shelves with handmade chocolates such as crème fraiche, local mint, organic peanut butter, fleur de sel caramels, toffee, morello cherries and more. We stocked our retail area with burlap-wrapped French sea salts from the Camargue & chocolate fondues, house-made chocolate barks and marshmallows dipped in chocolate. Bags of mendiant discs hand-tied with candy cane colored ribbon sold as quickly as we could package them. I am happy to report that hot chocolate sales are the highest they’ve ever been (finalement!). Could it be the homemade marshmallows? Or the addition of our Cocoa Bar, I wonder?
The holiday “Can-Can” dance has ended, our cozy chocolate shop has resumed to a quieter pace.

A present we’re in the depth of a cold, snowy hiver, and Montana’s landscape has magically and hauntingly transformed. It is the season to dream and imagine. This is an important time for rêveurs. During the chill – while the world is quiet – I find inspiration more easily. Do you? Please do stop by the shop, as there is a new truffle to be found in the case inspired by desire.

Merci pour votre visite. Au revoir Noël! Bonjour L’hiver!

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