As many of you may know, November 15th was Restaurant Day, which is a big deal for many people, at least here in Finland. It’s a day when anyone can open up their own pop-up restaurant for a day without any formal permissions from officials etc. The idea of the day is to have fun, share new food experiences and enjoy our common living environments together.
On this Restaurant Day I decided to open up my own restaurant for the first time. Since I’m no cook or even “home chef”, I wasn’t going to cook anything. Instead I served my customers what I know something about and not many people in my home town (or even country) know about: Quality chocolate. My aim was not only to sell chocolate but also offer free information and let people know what is out there in the world of quality chocolate. You have to remember, that this is a totally new thing for the Finnish people.
My restaurant was offering 2€ tasting pieces and 5€/10€ chocolate plates consisting of these six chocolates, that I have recently reviewed in this blog of mine: Chocolate Makers Awajun 80%, Marou Dong Nai 72%, Original Beans Papua Kerafat 68%, The Chocolate Tree Madagascar 100%, The Chocolate Tree Peru Nacional 69% and Willie’s Cacao Madagascan gold Sambirano 71%.
Together with the quality chocolates I offered three most popular 70% dark chocolates from big manufacturers, that can be found in supermarkets over here. These three were offered free of charge and were available for comparison. I will not mention their names, since I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but one was Finnish, one Swedish and one German.
I was a bit worried in advance about how people would react to my restaurant and product and if anyone would even find my restaurant (even if I had a very central location in my home town) or be interested in what I was serving. I was so happy when I noticed that there was no need for my fears or worries. People started coming as soon as I had opened and they kept coming. I was actually sold out before my planned closing time!
Of course I was happy that my restaurant was a financial success (small scale, but still). But more than that I was overwhelmed by the fact that my customers actually liked the chocolates I was serving. None of my customers thought that the supermarket chocolates were better than the quality chocolates I served. I got all the OOH and AAH reactions that I was hoping for. The feedback I got from the restaurant and the chocolates was so good that I almost thought I was living in a dream.
Thank you to all the people who visited my small scale Chocolate Restaurant. Next Restaurant Day is on February 15th 2015 and I will most certainly be there with different and maybe even more chocolates. Here are some pictures from my restaurant. Yes, that’s me. Hello world!