As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on people’s lives and livelihoods, and there is much talk about the “new normal” and what that will mean to small businesses across the globe, we at Epic Fine Chocolates are fortunate to report that we remain fully open for business, shipping out orders daily, and (so far) the impact on us has been minimal. Here’s why…
Customer and employee safety
We have never had a brick-and-mortar retail shop and do all our business via the internet and phone with nationwide shipping and local delivery options only. No customers come to our candy kitchen. Period. Further, we are a small, family business with no outside employees coming and going. Everyone who works here lives here on the ranch, safe and healthy.
Remote and isolated
Our candy kitchen is located on a 40-acre ranchette, 13 miles from the nearest town (Snowflake AZ). Our closest neighbor is more than a quarter of a mile away and the only visitors we get here are our intrepid UPS and FedEx drivers. We do not even get mail delivery here.
Supply chain security
One thing we have always strived for, both in our personal and business practices, is preparedness. Living in a remote location one learns to be prepared for the reality that you cannot always expect things to go smoothly. We admire the modern lean-and-mean practices of “Just In Time” inventory systems that many businesses have adopted. But having only days, or weeks, of supplies on hand just does not work for us. We bring in pallets of chocolate and truckloads of packaging and shipping supplies when we order, and we aim to have as much as a year’s inventory of non-perishables in stock at any given time. No revolving door of deliveries here! We bring in perishable ingredients as needed and take full advantage of online ordering, payment, and no-contact curbside pick-up and delivery options when we do.
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by COVID-19 and we want to reassure all of our customers about how their purchases from us are handled for safety.