Retail Confectioners` Fall Regional
Retail Confectioners’ Fall Regional
etail Confectioners International
(RCI) held its fall regional institute in
late September in Vermont.
Networking among peers at the RCI
Regional began during the tours of the
Burlington-area confectionery shops and
attractions on the ﬁrst days of the event.
Snowflake Chocolates began as a home
business (the owners still live on premises)
Clockwise from above:
Marzipan confecin Jericho, Vermont. Snowﬂake was named tions going through the curtain of chocolate at
in recognition of local photomicrographer Snowflake Chocolates. Sam Mancuso (ADM)
and Francis Cox, Jr., (Dorothy Cox’s Candies) share a laugh while taking the Snowflake ChocoWilson A. Bentley, affectionately known lates tour. As confections are being boxed for sales and storage, Martha Pollak, owner of
as “Snowflake Bentley”— in 1885 he Snowflake Chocolates, answers questions for Kristene Steed (Rheo Thompson Candies).
became the first person to photograph a
single ice crystal.
they zeroed in on truffles and in 1991 they moved their
Snowﬂake Chocolates offers many candies, including business to Vermont. Bill and Jeff desired a different envifudge, candy cane delights, dipped confections and the ronment and determined to separate the business from
Bentley Bar. At the time of RCI’s visit, the company fea- retail operations, capitalizing on the increasing interest in
tured a fall display of sunﬂowers, faux fall leaves and many the European-style confections.
items boxed in clear packages to show delightful colors
Sixteen employees complete their team. Production perand attractive confections in their showroom.
sonnel rotate their duties (making shells, depositing, decMuch of the equipment they use was fabricated in-house orating, packaging, etc.) every two hours.
or modiﬁed to ﬁt their situation. Though a small facility,
All the truffles are shell-moulded, ﬁlled and enrobed,
they use historical family formulas (making their own then are hand-decorated. Having three separate enrobing
marzipan, for example), rather than use another source.
lines (for dark, milk and white chocolate) is vital to eliminate any tainting of any one type.
Careful packaging and storage make it possible for Birnn
Birnn Chocolates of Vermont in South Burlington is a focused to ship direct to customers without any back-orders. Invenﬁrm: everything they do is truffles. This one-product com- tory is taken each night to assure readiness with 16 ﬂapany diversiﬁes itself in ﬂavor, size and wrapping, but they vors in dark, milk or white chocolate, some in three sizes.
concentrate their attention on doing one thing well.
Their success as a wholesale-only truffle supplier is clear
Owners Jeff Birnn and Bill Birnn are brothers who made when touring the Birnn facility. Cleanliness, orderliness
an intentional lifestyle choice to reinvent the confectionery and staff longevity are obvious results of positive values
business their grandfather started in New Jersey. In 1985 and responsiveness to internal and external customers.
The Manufacturing Confectioner • November 2006 25