American University Rubbing Elbows July 2017 Unpacked: Chocolate and Caramel Bailey Kasten, SPA/BA '05, owner, Double Premium Confections I started the company out of my kitchen in 2009. Today we offer 25 different truffles and chocolate bars. Caramels are our most popular item; dark chocolate with sea salt is a customer favorite. Summer's a slow time for chocolate, but once pumpkin spice season starts, we're busy every weekend with farmers markets, trade shows, and pop-ups at Union Market. When we make sales calls to prospective shops or distributors, the biggest selling point is the chocolate itself. We have to be prepared to do a tasting on the fly. Our toddlers, Kahlil and Sabina, often come with us on deliveries. It's always wise to have toys, crayons, or a little treat in hand, especially in DC traffic. There's no reason to let some delicious chocolate with a slight cosmetic imperfection go to waste, so I always carry some "goof-up" chocolate to share with people. We drive a hybrid vehicle to save on emissions and gas. My husband and I drive around to a lot of our shops across the DMV; our Prius helps keep our footprint small. Owning a family business keeps us on the go all the time—especially during "chocolate season" around the holidays. Coffee keeps us moving. We partner with about 30 stores across the DC area. It's our job to set up displays and signs. We always want to remind customers that our chocolate is locally made and handcrafted (there are no machines in our kitchen). When you factor in all the tastings we do, I probably talk to thousands of people each year. I try to get my cards in as many hands as possible; you never know who you might meet. Our CRM (customer relationship management software) tracks all our deliveries and invoices. Thankfully we don't have to keep all that information in our heads or on paper.