Chocolates Unlimited by Denise

October 2022

<p>Chocolates Unlimited by Denise</p>

Customer

If you’ve ever wondered how many ways you can enjoy chocolates, the answer is unlimited. Denise Schreiber, owner of Chocolates Unlimited by Denise, located in Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, has confirmed that herself! “I literally have thousands of chocolate molds,” says Denise, “and you’d be surprised by some of the unusual requests I get from customers.” She has also handcrafted everything from chocolate seahorses to chocolate computer game controllers. The business was started years ago by Denise’s mother-in-law. Denise’s young daughter loved making chocolates with her grandmother and that treasured family activity convinced Denise to take over the business in 2013 when her mother-in-law passed away.

Challenge

As the business grew by word-of-mouth and through social media, the entire Schreiber household found themselves scrambling to get orders completed. Then the pandemic hit, and the largely online business really became a challenge. Denise points out, “Chocolate is a comfort food, so when people couldn’t visit family and friends, they were going to my website to send chocolates as a gift or to indulge in it themselves.” Denise couldn’t hire people fast enough to meet demand, so, it was a good problem but still a big problem she needed to solve.

“People at my KeyBank branch are willing to sit down, really understand my needs in my niche business and find solutions or opportunities that are relevant.” – Denise Schreiber, Owner, Chocolates Unlimited by Denise

 

Solution

Denise confided in her small business banking team at KeyBank led by Paula Meitzler, who suggested she apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance from the federal government. Says Meitzler, “As a microbusiness, Denise didn’t think she qualified, but she was having serious scaling issues which is one problem these COVID relief funds were designed to address.” Meitzler adds that one never knows how a pandemic is going to affect their business, so it’s best to get out in front of it and make sure you’re protected. Meitzler also suggested that Denise apply for restaurant revitalization funding from the SBA. “People at my KeyBank branch are willing to sit down, really understand my needs in my niche business and find solutions or opportunities that are relevant,” remarks Denise.

Results

Thanks to her PPP assistance, Chocolates Unlimited by Denise has been able to staff up to meet demand and then some. In fact, the business has increased their shipping to the point where the local village post office needed to acquire an electronic scanner to keep up. Denise reports that she is getting orders from as far away as Japan and South Africa and her “Hot Cocoa Bombs” are selling like hotcakes. The next big step for her business? Moving her licensed commercial kitchen out of the home basement to a retail store or warehouse setting. “Chocolates Unlimited is the perfect name for the business because there’s just no limits to how far it can go,” concludes Meitzler. Look out Willy Wonka, here comes Denise!

To learn more, contact a local KeyBank Relationship Manager or visit key.com/smallbusinesswellness.

To learn more about Chocolates Unlimited by Denise, search @ChocolatesUnlimited on Facebook and Etsy.

SBA loans subject to SBA eligibility. All credit products are subject to collateral and/or credit approval, terms, conditions, and availability and subject to change.

Key.com is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp.

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888-KEY4BIZ (539-4249)

Clients using a TDD/TTY device:
1-800-539-8336

Clients using a relay service:
1-866-821-9126

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Schedule an Appointment

Talk to a Branch Manager in your neighborhood.

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