A study in simple authenticity
by Ronnie Watchorn
I don't know if you noticed we dropped a new logo this week, kinda outta the blue, but I was hoping we could talk about simplicity for a minute? I'm assuming since you clicked on this blog you're good with it so let's start.
In today's world simplicity is almost non existent. It seems like everything from our coffee shop orders to online grocery orders and everything in-between just keep getting more and more chaotic by the day and it's quickly all becoming overwhelming. At least for me.
The chaos in my life peaked a couple years back and when literally everything hit the fan, I learned one simple recipe that would act like the calm in the storm for the years to follow.
Three simple ingredients that come together to create a truly decadent end result. And the best part? No matter what kind of day you've had, you can add these three ingredients together in the proper ratio , mix well, and wahlah. Pure confectionery magic happens, everytime.
That consistency and reliability is probably why almost five years later I'm still mixing those three ingredients, im just doing so on a much larger scale now.
But even the simplest of things can become complicated.
When I started my confectionery journey, I was taught the basic of Belgian chocolate making. (Can you really even call them basics? Is anything about Belgian Chocolate basic?) Each piece we made was moulded and manicured and uniform and awe inspiring. But as my journey rounded a new corner and I found myself opening a shop of my own, that foundation in Belgian technique found itself at odds with a new more authentic voice, inside me.
And it was far more American.
I found (and find) myself drawn to heirloom recipes, the ones handed down through families and engraved on the back of tombstones of grandmother's who swore they'd never give up their secret recipes. (Those over my dead body types...) Recipes made with simple, locally sourced, readily available ingredients, seasonal even. A lot of these recipes date back almost a hundred years and they usually happened by complete accident at that.
Now that's not to white wash America's vast confectionery history by any means. We live in the most culturally diverse country in the world, so globalization of our foods was bound to happen. It was only a matter of time.
We've got flavors pouring in from the world over as our world gets smaller and smaller by the day. And even if the world continually gets smaller, the choices available to us and our cultural exposure as a whole are expanding exponentially. Now please don't misunderstand me, I'd be absolutely lost without tacos and spaghetti, it's just a simple observation about the world around me and our ever changing culinary demographic.
But at what point do so many choices complicate the decision making process?
I'm still finding my own voice in the American chocolate industry, but more importantly, I'm using it to find my way to simplicity. As I work on this rebrand and establishing an identity for it that I'm happy with I'm becoming more and more conscious of my decisions, and comfortable with them, the pressure to "measure up" to the competition and expectations (even my own) drop and are allowing me to work from my most authentic self.
Because I'm no longer looking for validation. I'm simply creating and defining things on my own terms and inviting people to experience them. Whether or not they do is up to them.
I've spent almost a year forcibly defining my brand and my shop by a definition I didn't intend, and in turn complicating the process. So now as I brush away all the fluff and the excess reducing my company back to its simplest form, things aren't such a uphill battle. I don't feel like I'm constantly competing, even against a ghost of chocolate shops past. I'm finding my way back to the reasons I started my company in the first place.
All of this to say surely I'm not the only one guilty of this right? I cannot be the only small business owner out there with a tendency to complicate things? Right? Tell me I'm right... So I want to close with a question today, a challenge so to speak. (I'm so trendy, getting on board with the online challenges.)
What's one thing you can do right now, to simplify for your day? It's doesn't need to be a big life changing Earth shattering thing. Make yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy it before you leave for work, instead of stopping on the way to work for a cup chaulked full of sugar and God knows what else. Hell. Maybe it's just taking a day off of social media for the day.
Whatever it is, try it for a week. Whatever you choose to cut back on, give it one week. Let us know what you're cutting back on in the comments! And we'll check back in a week!