Fudge O'Bits®: A Sweet Tooth's BFF: Needs Expansion Help!!!
Fudge O'Bits®: A Sweet Tooth's BFF: Needs Expansion Help!!!
Fudge Is a Perennial American Favorite! Now it can be an "Everyday" Favorite! Our struggle is keeping up with current production.
Fudge Is a Perennial American Favorite! Now it can be an "Everyday" Favorite! Our struggle is keeping up with current production. Read more
Thank you for visiting our page and taking time to read about our business and the current situation with our equipment. Our company was founded in 2013 with a dream (a literal, middle of the night - wake up with an idea - dream), to make an impact in the lives of fudge lovers by sharing our unique fudge and giving it an innovative twist: bite-sized pieces of fudge covered in a supremely delicious, all-natural, gourmet chocolate. Our fudge is hand-crafted in small batches and requires the family "nod of approval" before leaving the kitchen.
For years we made fudge for gifts, then people asked if they could buy it to give as gifts and we thought, "Hmmm...is there a business opportunity here?" But after some research, we found lots of people make fudge so we wanted to do something different. We also learned that a lot of fudge at festivals is made using a mix and we wanted to make it from scratch with butter, sugar and milk. In the middle of one early summer night, Fudge O'Bits® was born: the idea to take our fudge, cut it in bite-sized pieces and cover it with a special blend of gourmet chocolate. A decadent delight! And so we researched and learned how to make our product with an enrober, bought equipment and set up shop. Our first opportunity to present our product to public review was at the 2015 Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago; the place every candy company goes to debut a product. We entered our P'Nutti Better in the Most Innovative Product contest against the likes of great named candy companies you all know well. We did not win, but we were a top 5 nominee in our division, an honor rarely awarded to a small start-up like ourselves. We knew at that moment, we had something special. Those thoughts were further confirmed when a national chain approached us at that same show to do an across-the-country roll out with 87,000 bags of our Fudge O'Bits®, a feat we unfortunately could not perform as we had not yet, even opened our doors.
In the 2 years since then, we have grown, learned so much, found mentors through SCORE, increased our equipment and expanded our location, with another expansion for a larger factory, in the near future. Distribution is within the Indiana borders with a few businesses outside the state carrying us during holidays. We are expanding our wholesale line and have acquired a new national account that requires us to mass produce. Our problem? The equipment needed to complete this order (and future orders), is $49,500.
Isn't she lovely!?! This new enrober (we call her Lucy), will eliminate the time gaps that have us limited in our inventory. This will not compromise the quality in our Fudge O'Bits®, but simply increase the quantity we can produce in a shorter amount of time, thereby increasing our inventory exponentially. Lucy will drastically accelerate what we are currently doing with our baby enrober.
Let's break it down...
- Our current enrober covers 2,500 pieces of fudge an hour.
- Pieces then have to dry half a day, wasting precious time in bagging and shipping.
- Approximately 48 pieces go into one wholesale bag of Fudge O'Bits®. That's roughly 52 bags/hr ready to sell.
- Lucy will do 6,500 pieces an hour.
- Pieces are dried through Lucy's cooling tunnel allowing us to bag as soon as they come off the line.
- Now we have a production of 135 bags/hr. increasing our inventory and ability to supply.
- Increase in production + instant bagging + more availability for shipping = happy customers!
The beauty of Lucy is that she does not have to stop production to have her feeder filled with chocolate or slowed down so the chocolate is tempered to the right degree. She has a cooling tunnel that will dry the Fudge O'Bits® and at the end of the line, we can bag immediately without having to wait half a day for the pieces to dry. A classy lady that will do the job of running 24 hours and maintaining tempering at a consistent pace. Can you see why we love her?
We made the mistake of purchasing an enrober with too narrow a vision. It was too small and required extra time because it needs a lot of manual steps. Now, failure to purchase Lucy (which we should have bought to begin with) will cause us to lose potential accounts in the future and keep us stifled with an inability to grow and expand. Lucy is our light at the end of the tunnel, giving us the freedom to focus on product quality and making more batches, instead of spending time at the enrober moving in a slower pace, delayed by wasted time that could be spent increasing production. We have the facility to add Lucy, we have the knowledge to grow our business, we have the accounts that need our product, but we lack the full amount of financing that will help us bring Lucy to our business.
Right now, we have to heat and temper our chocolate as we seed it. Then we put our candy on shelves to harden and have to wait to bag it. With Lucy, all those steps of delay are eliminated. And because we eliminate the delays, we will need more employees to keep up with the fast pace of increased production. The extra time we will have can also be used to work on some new and innovative ideas we have to expand our product line.
We have agreed to pool our personal funds and contribute to the remaining amount needed to acquire Lucy. Your contribution (on any level) will be a tremendous boost in our reach for this new equipment. This machine will truly change the way we do production and with your help, we'll continue to make fudge for everyone to enjoy!
Being a family business, we take great care in maintaining our recipe and ensuring that the product turns out fresh and tasty every time. We love our product and others do, too! We're so happy and thankful to our followers who have helped us reach this level in our business. Now we need YOUR HELP to move from a local provider to a national supplier. Your support will allow us to grow while leaving a legacy of chocolatiering for our future generations to follow.
It is an honor and a privilege to own a small business. Our Kickstarter program is a partnership. Your support will help us to grow our economy and increase jobs in our small community and will be remembered by our family for generations to come.
Risks and challenges
The risks are very minimal but are there, none-the-less.:
* Costumer demand could increase (positive) or decrease (negative)
* Raw material prices could spike
* Our enrober breaking down
* Employees not being trained properly
Any one of these occurrences could prevent customer orders from being delivered, resulting in a loss of revenue and damage to our reputation.
To combat these risks, we:
* Continue to improve and enhance our product to keep customers satisfied and work hard to go above and beyond to serve our customers.
* We also shop for the best price on our ingredients and purchase extended quantities when on sale.
* We have become loyal customers to our vendors and pay our bills on time, which has given us favor for receiving discounts and better pricing on supplies.
* We are thankful to have one of our family members highly skilled with the ability to trouble shoot mechanical and wiring problems and keep our equipment running.
* We take time to fully train and work alongside our employees so that they are comfortable and knowledgeable about our product and how to manufacture it.
Having a lot of financial debt is also a risk to the business' cash flow, one of the reasons we have selected to initiate this Kickstarter campaign. With your support, you will be helping us create jobs and economic expansion in our community. We thank you for your consideration and support. It is greatly appreciated!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)