There have been many stressful and hair raising situations regarding the start up of our business. As one can imagine things rarely go according to plan, but luckily they often times seem to work out. That was the story of our Saturday. Saturday before our big street fair in
Our electrician arrived and began to start hooking up our “phase converter” which converts the local single phase electricity into the three phase which would efficiently power our large tempering machines. Things were plugging along nicely and then a new scare came up. The electrician feared that our machines may require too much energy and that our factory would turn off the lights of the other offices and facilities around us. This was not going to be a good option. We were told we might be able to run one machine but in order to run two we would have to sink thousands of additional dollars into increasing our power supply from the town, a process which would take weeks. Not exactly what you wanted to hear the night before our first big chocolate sale. Time was ticking and Nick was getting worried. After many back of the envelope calculations our electrician thought it could be done and we decided to give it a whirl. One machine worked… time to try the second. The breakers were switched on, the phase converter hummed and the tempering machines were switched on whilst an emotionally fragile Nick trembled with nervous anticipation. Eric stood stoically observing the situation with the cool confidence of a veteran of the custom chocolate industry. The LCD displays on the machines both came to life, illuminating our state of the art factory with their blue glow! Things were looking good.
“Thanks a lot” we said to the electrician “now its time to make some chocolate”! It was 1pm. As mentioned earlier we had worked with a version of these machines before so we were familiar with them and we thought we were ready to get right into things. However once all the equipment was set up the display was unresponsive. For whatever reason the machines were ignoring our commands. Was it because they did not respect Nick? Did they need an alpha male to tell them what to do? No such luck Eric had the same result. Hours passed, buttons pressed and pressed some more… nothing. Even Eric was starting to get worried. It was now 6pm and we still had 550 perfect chocolate bars to churn out with love for Sunday’s street fair. Getting the machine to work was complicated by the fact that the manual which came with it was in Italian only. Not one member of the Chocomize staff speaks Italian. Some Spanish, German, Arabic, French maybe even a little English but no one speaks Italian. After trying every possible button combination etc Eric placed a small magnet that came with the machines by the side of the tempering basin. Open Sesame! The machine’s LCD display told us our wish was their command. Apparently the magnet was a safety device installed recently to prevent machines starting without proper protection. A new addition we were not familiar with. Perhaps a response to the recent death in Pennsauken New
To be continued…