Vibrant Chocolate has closed
Im sad to announce that Vibrant Chocolate has closed operations. While we were able to create a delightful menu of chocolates with health benefits and get rave reviews from customers and writers, we did not establish recurring sales at the level needed to pay the bills and maintain the business.
Why didn’t a tasty product with category-unique health benefits work? Well, it became very clear that customers wanted to purchase Vibrant Chocolate they way that they purchased other high end chocolates, as gifts for loved ones and at holidays. People also nearly universally expected that a specialty chocolates business like ours would have a retail store, which was never part of our plan. Our vision of enthusiastic customers who chose to make Vibrant Chocolate part of their weekly diet as both a special treat and a nutrient boost just did not become a reality.
This Spring, we started to produce wholesale Long Life Chocholate Bars and 7-packs of Peanut Butter Sunshine, with the goal of securing shelf space at health-focused and high end retailers. Our pilot program covered 4 stores in the Seattle area, but customers at those stores did not buy out our chocolates. Feedback was that the price was too high for a health focused snack food, since Vibrant Chocolate was hand made and priced like other specialty chocolates, where as customers were more likely to buy a single Luna bar for their afternoon snack at a lower price point.
We also got very close to some major corporate sales this summer with progressive companies that like to treat their employees very well, but in the end these sales did not materialize quickly enough to keep the business going.
All in all, we started this company because we felt that delicious, premium chocolates with health benefits should exist, and they didn’t. We are very proud of the products we developed, the awards and contests we won, and our early customers. But we are sorry that we weren’t able to build a successful online advertising model or wholesale sales channel, and that we are now closing our doors.
- Mike Arcuri