Friday, December 23, 2011

December 21, 2011

Solstice and Chanukah and Christmas and Kwanzaa greetings to everyone! 
We are happy to welcome the light back into our lives, and so happy you Rox Chox lovers are here to share it with us.

It’s been a while since we last gave a Rox Chox update, since we had big life changes and transition to take care of, so this post is both about business and life, as they are intertwined.  We are back in Portland and are committed to bringing Rox Chox to the people. We made a limited edition holiday special of Rox Chox in jars with ribbons, and they have proved very popular. 

I had so much fun working with Rox Chox today.  The annual People’s Holiday Craft and Farmer’s Market was a lively whirlwind of beautiful faces, voices, and names from all over the world and a landscape of bountiful local splendor.  My booth was outdoors and my breath created successive moments of light fog around my bundled head and layers of wool sweaters kept my teeth from chattering.  I kept a wooden bowl and spoon continuously filled with over two pounds of bite-sized Rox Chox and offered samples to the passers-by. For five hours I expounded upon the benefits of xylitol, raw cacao, and coconut and shook hands with and recorded the names* of over sixty-five people as they bought or traded in Rox Chox. I had the chance to try out a few catch phrases in French, Russian, and Finnish, to my delight and possibly others’ chagrin. I personally witnessed the delightful result of our work as many eyes widened in surprised appreciation of the deliciousness.  I lit the menorah for the second night of Chanukah and learned a new saying in Hebrew from a just-met friend.  I saw and hugged many friends, shook many hands, shared many smiles and much chocolate.  On top of it all, I made the rent for the Rox Lab.  Now that’s a great day. 

Yes, our little Rox Chox family now lives happily in Portland again.  We had a pretty smooth transition once the decision was made to return home – River and I (Rochelle) both got our other jobs back (River is a chef and I’m a grocer and studio co-manager) and we found a great apartment that has nice-smelling bushes out front under which our baby Mr. Kitty hides and spies on the world outside.  We are all feeling much better.  We did have an adventurous three-months exploring San Francisco and SFAI’s MFA program but we didn’t like the taste of that debt or the lack of trees, and we are much happier to be investing directly in our future with Rox Chox and riding bikes through piles and under boughs of many colorful leaves.  This is where we belong, and it feels amazing to all of a sudden own a business that has the potential to support us.  We get to decide how quickly we grow, and we are taking it one carefully-planned step at a time.  We are getting used to our new Rox Lab and this month will be building a dividing wall, as per the Health Inspector’s request.  Pretty soon we will be able to invest in new flavors and packages, and soon after that Rox Chox will hopefully be our full time job.  They say it takes two years to begin to make a profit on your own business?  We’re aiming for at least that.  Our business is almost nine months old, so it makes sense that around the time it’s walking it would be on its own two feet.

Here are some of our latest steps:
Rox Chox are newly available as bars on the shelf in addition to the bulk at the Alberta co-op, and are new as bars at Proper Eats in St. Johns.  A lovely locale featuring local organic produce, a café, and live music. (Let them know if you want Chox in bulk!)  We also now offer our Chox through a local organic buying club organized by a great guy named Brion Oliver:   He gave us a great quip about Rox Chox: “This local, artisanal chocolate currently comes in just one flavor, but it’s some of the best I’ve ever had and possibly the best local chocolate in town.  The coconut oil gives it a mild coconut taste and the xylitol makes it crispy, like a Nestle Crunch bar.  It’s really good stuff.”  Thanks, Brion! 

Here's a special limited offer for those of you who have read this far: If any of you would like to tell us what you love about Rox Chox for our 'Rave Reviews' section, we will send you a square of Rox Chox in return (if it's a good review, that is).  Just write up a few sentences and email us your address or get your Chox from us in person.  (

It is so beyond-words wonderful to be back in Portland and at home amongst our community.  Thanks for welcoming us back.  I feel so thankful to those of you who love to treat yourself to Rox Chox and who truly enjoy the work that we do. It is a greatly rewarding job to be of service to your chocolate needs and to see happy written all over your face.  Thanks for loving our chocolate creations!  To life!

* Thank you to all of the new and old-friend people I met tonight whose contribution this holiday season is very directly keeping Rox Chox in business: Esther Yan for the ride to the fair, Karen and Beck for the ride fro, Amira Mednick for the last-minute tent loan, Kim Card for bringing me a tamale,  Maureen for bringing me licorice tea,  Anastasia for the coffee and rice milk, and to Chris of Lovejoy coffee, Marty of the knitted mitts, and Gee Creek Farms for trading, and to those of you who dropped hard-earned cash on our Chox: Brian Heck, Sara Powell, Karen, Brian, Corbin Dallas, Eliot, Jeremy & Shelly, Brian, LaBrae, Kate, Raji & Arbin, Eric, Brian, Amy, Joanna, Ed, Mary Ann & Catha, Alex, Mina, Hazel, Juli, Josie, Dylan, Barbara, Maureen O’Brien, Judith, Beth, Jody, Joanne, Naomi, Nicholas, Brian, Clio, Reen, Peggy, Guillaume & Christiana, Judith for Ashley, Lara for Maureen, Meerka for Ivan in Slovakia, Joe, Mary & Reed, Ivy, Judith, Christine, Anna, Fiona, Julie, Tasha, Julie for her sister, Phil, Bill, Patty, Eve, Bert, Melissa, Elisabet, Max, Zane, Lam,  and the two ladies who were the first to buy two squares promptly at 2pm before I got the great idea to record everyone’s names. 

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