zuzu: n. slang term for candy or goodies; adj. superfantastically wonderful in a fantabulistic way.
Hey thanks for watching our little video and allowing us to introduce ourselves to you. Thanks to the friends, fans, and raging chocoholics that helped me explain the fabulousness of the zuzu.
My creative style with confections has always been BIG, FAT, AND LUSCIOUS! Harkening back to the days of hand-dipped splendor. All the confections, or you can now call them zuzu, are fresh and made with the finest natural and organic ingredients, including the best Belgian and French Chocolate. But don't be fooled, these delicious bites of zuzu are very delicate creatures. Chocolates are especially sensitive to environmental stresses, such as heat and moisture, and yes, even bad stinky smells!
This is a project designed to get a proper environment for our delicious and delectable confections or zuzu, which need to be nurtured and cared for before they find a home. It is my quest to create my own facility that allows us to produce the confections in a climate-controlled setting, package them and carefully store them so they can be shipped at their best. So far, we have used rental kitchens that are not set up for candymaking, much less packaging and storing them properly! Having our own fantabulistic candy facility where we can do it all (cook, package, and store) makes more sense and is actually more economical.
Starting Zuzu Candies in 2012 has been a fun, yummy, and exciting experience. I am now an Award Winning Confectioner. One award that I just received in February 2013 is an Award of Excellence, putting me in the company of the Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America!
So far, we have dabbled with some small, local retail sales at the holiday and have attended Certified Farmers Markets, both locally in Modesto and in Los Angeles. We have been gaining in popularity with each bite of our luscious truffles, caramels, nougats, marshmallows, fudge, and cookies. One gentleman said that after his staff tried some of the zuzu, it created monsters! And the monsters are demanding more zuzu. I happen to like monsters.
To take our superfantastically wonderful zuzu to the next level and market our product to wedding planners, caterers,and special events, we need to be able to do larger production runs and store inventory (something we just can't do in our rental kitchens).
We will be talking to some established retailers such as Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts, and Williams & Sonoma (who have approached us in Los Angeles to do an upcoming artisan event). We have also been fortunate enough to wow some business people who have asked us if we would like to be their new candy connection! They spend about $10,000 a year on candy gifts for their employees. And of course e-commerce, which is currently being developed. The funds from this project can make this happen!
I have found a great location in a light-industrial space in Turlock, CA, where I currently live. The owner, who does all of the tenant improvements, says what I need done will take him about 4-6 weeks. He can create a climate controlled production area, as well as, adequate areas for packaging and storage. I have had the architect guy do a drawing of the facility for Zuzu, and have already attended a pre-development meeting with the City. The funds from Kickstarter will go towards tenant improvements, permits, and some basic kitchen equipment. I have already purchased most of the equipment but need additional funds for a refrigerator, work tables, a commercial sink, convection oven and vent.
SETTING ZUZU APART
Zuzu is quite a bit different from your average candymaker or chocolatier; we are one of the few Confectionary Companies that are actually certified to be at an authentic Farmers Market. Zuzu qualified to be part of the Certified Farmers Market in Los Angeles, which has strict criteria to be natural and wholesome, with no preservatives, using ethically-sourced chocolate, eco-friendly packaging and using GREEN protocol in production methods. Many of are products have no added sugar, such as our truffles. Zuzu often sources ingredients from local farmers markets and turns them into our confectionary wonders. I am happy to report my winning a 2012 Chef's Award for a French Honey Caramel, sourcing the honey at a local farmers market (Turlock Alfalfa Honey). It is a good marriage.
THE ZUZU DREAM
Kickstarter will actually kickstart this dream of bringing delicious and delectable, fresh and wholesome zuzu to the American Market. It is the goal of Zuzu Candies to help teach people about the quality in food choices that make a difference in the quality of life. Long live the zuzu! And have a zuzu day.
(candy photography by Alina Lipanski, Los Angeles)
We will cover all the shipping and handling costs in the Continental US, however, we would love to send rewards to our friends and supporters around the globe. So please add an additional $10 for shipping costs if you are an International Candy Fanatic!
I wanted to show some of the confections that are going to the reward menu:
Naked Vanilla Bean Caramel
Fleur de Sel Caramel dipped in Belgian Chocolate
Belgian Chocolate Truffles
Custom Zuzu Tee Shirt
Risks and challenges
Setbacks are part of the challenges of doing business. I have been self-employed for many years and have a proven ability to create effective strategies to overcome obstacles.
We have the product, we have the demand, we just need the logistics! Minor delays may occur as we finish our project. We have already met with the contractor, the architect, and the Health Department. We had a very positive pre-development meeting with the City to work out any bugs before we get started. So I think the bases are covered.
I look forward to having you all get your rewards so that you can be part of our Zuzu family. We may make a Zuzu Monster out of you too!
You will receive a Custom Zuzu Tee Shirt and a special 8 piece treat from our kitchens each month for 6 months. We will be wrapping up truffles, caramels, nougats, marshmallows, fudge and cookies. A different kind of treat each time. You will get a taste of zuzu heaven!
Wow you are a superstar! You deserve to be spoiled by Zuzu. We will send you a Custom Zuzu Tee Shirt and a 15 piece box of truffles for 3 months, including a flavor that you will create, you can even name it after yourself!