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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

Caramelgeddon: A First Hand Retelling of the Day We Were on the Front Page of the New York Times

nytimes

Two years ago, it was the end of the world as we knew it. Not in the apocalyptic sense so much, but more along the lines of “every ending is a new beginning.” It was the end of Hedonist being mostly just a local success in Rochester, New York. It was the beginning of our company gaining a new wave of national recognition. Caramelgeddon was upon us.

I walked to work at about 5:15 PM on February 5, 2013 expecting a pretty typical Tuesday evening at the shop. It was Valentine’s season, so I knew there was potential for some storms of crazy bustle. But the scene I saw when I entered through the side door that day was unlike any other in my time at Hedonist. Every employee-- even some unfamiliar faces— stood around the tables, frantically building brown boxes and tying them with our caramel colored raffia. Cardboard towers teetered at the end of the table, signifying that these were orders to be shipped. It was such a controlled chaos that not even one worker on this assembly line acknowledged my entrance. Confused (and crushed by the thought that I am not a warmly-welcomed presence in a time of crisis), I wondered what I had just stepped into.

"Uh…what’s going on?" I finally asked my co-worker, Hawa.

The New York Times featured our Salted Caramel as one of the best in the country. So, we have tons of orders going all over the place now.”

At this time, I more than likely replied with an enthusiastic expletive. Tonight would be anything but typical.

And it wasn’t just that night that was infused with a frantic frenzy of assembly. Every day and night leading up to Valentine’s Day saw Salted Caramels being constantly created, boxed, and shipped. There was no room for error, no leniency for lolly-gagging, and seemingly, no end in sight. All hands were on deck, all the time, and we were sailing on a salty sea of chocolate and caramel.

When the craziness finally concluded, the numbers revealed the magnitude of what we now know as Caramelgeddon. Between February 5 and February 14, our chocolatiers made over 22,000 Salted Caramels. More than 350 pounds of caramel were used in the process. And 100% of the staff gained the knowledge of what it truly meant to be a hedonist. All the endless hours spent during those days turned out to be pain for pleasure. Would we do it again? Absolutely.

-Trevor

 

 
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