Shortly after I purchased BeautyGram, I met founder Jennifer Ruparell at Sunterra for a coffee and a visit, to chat about how life was going in the BeautyGram world. When Jenn came up, she gave me a little box of chocolate covered Jube Jubes from Froggers when she sat down. As a self confessed choc-o-holic, I couldn't even hold my composure and thank her politely and put them in my purse. I thanked her enthusiastically and cracked that puppy open.
I was DELIGHTED with the taste. Surprised by it, truthfully! I asked her, what in the heck is this? And why were they never in the box? She went on to tell me that she and her family have a long standing relationship and love with Froggers Chocolate and that she did try chocolate in the box. Even though it was a hit, there are logistics in carrying chocolate, such as storage, shelf life, etc. BeautyGram was up for the challenge before, but found it was delicately seasonal because chocolate melts in the summer, and freezes in the winter. All true and needed to be considered.
Another consideration for me was the branding. Anyone who is on my personal feed knows that I am not adverse to cute creatures, and frogs are high on my list. However, how does clear packaging and ribbons fit into the BeautyGram brand? Determined to make this work, I started researching.
Fast forward, I contacted Suzanne Pouliot, owner operator of Froggers Chocolate in SW Calgary and explained who I was, shared my enthusiastic love of her product, and asked her how I can work with her to put the chocolate in the box with my brand. Suzanne is LOVELY by the way. Open, friendly, helpful and guided me through how to get there from a packaging standpoint. Now, my packaging is shipped from Montreal and Suzanne packages the chocolate for me, since she has all the fancy dancy food handling permits.
For seasons where chocolate is more delicate, we invested in thermal packaging that in certain seasons can be placed around the BeautyGram (while still fitting within my shipping box), and as well, invested in cooling materials for hotter weather to help with shipping to various climates. So far, so good!
The fun part was working with Suzanne, with the new chocolate packaging, to determine what combos of chocolates were going in the 5 x 5 x 5 inch cube boxes. Truly, Suzanne did all the work in determining what portions of which products when i the boxes. Then I took the boxes, and a scale, and... a BeautyGram.... so that I could determine what combinations actually FIT in the box, and how much it weighed for shipping purposes to come up with the combos and pricing. Its is like a fun jenga game packing up these chocolate boxes.
Froggers Chocolate checks all the boxes in my eyes. Suzanne has ran Froggers for 12 years, so it is well established, so that gives me comfort and assurance that the quality, care and love for her craft is there in spades. Also, in forming this partnership, we both had to determine that we operated ethically. My insurance covers me for acting responsibility as a business. My food handling permits show that I have been inspected to handle those products. Suzanne also operates her business in her home, but prepares her chocolate in a commercial kitchen and is also insured, so that her due diligence is in check. She is Calgary based, and we are 15 minutes apart, so the chocolate is fresh, and barely transported. Doesn't get more local that that. And truly, Suzanne is a girl boss. Love and respect for her care of her product, her business acumen, her warmth and humor. It is my pleasure every time to reorder this product, because she deserves the business. She works hard and has a superior product.
So what products of Froggers chocolates does BeautyGram carry? Truly, anything she will sell me that fits in a box!
Our product list:
Suzanne does not sell to the general public. Since she sells out of her home, everyone who comes to Suzanne is referral only. I am one of two local businesses that sell her chocolate, and the only one that sells online. The other is brick and mortar in SW Calgary.
For chocolate lovers on your gift giving list, these chocolate packages are decadent. But these truly are for chocolate lovers, and for people who can have chocolate. At this time, there are no products that are sugar free. This is a package for people who can have chocolate, that love chocolate, with no health exceptions.
This blog is to honor my Partner in chocolate, Suzanne Pouliot, and to explain to our customers how truly special she is, our combined efforts in creating these packages for you, and to highlight her local Calgary business.
And to Jennifer Ruparell, I am forever thankful for your introduction to Froggers Chocolate.