Years ago, my Father-in-law (a.k.a. Beau-père in Paris) offered me some straightforward business advice. Jean-Pierre said: “when confronted with competition or copycats, just remember to put your blinders on. Keep creating, work hard and remain original.”
Add to this Margaret Oliphant’s (19th Century Scottish novelist) quote: “Oh, never mind the fashion. When one has a style of one’s own, it is ALWAYS twenty times better.” (Hence: originality)
As a chocolate shop entrepreneur who daily strives toward the recipe for success, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of staying focused, remaining true to your ideals:
I believe in creating confections that appeal to grown-up palate. We want to encourage people to develop their taste palates. Avoid the temptation of over flavoring. It destroys the sense of taste, which leads to overeating.
I believe our confections should be decadent and lovely. I believe we should try to hold to “artisan” ideals. These days, the word “artisan” has become meaningless. Businessman-turned-chefs who hiss and hymn utilitarian formulas like “Revenues - Expenses = Net Income”. These ventures often lack real imagination and seem deceptive.
Lastly and mostly, I believe our confections should create an instantaneous sense of happiness. Remember how you felt as a kid when you visited a candy shop? Mais, oui!