Last year I decided to quit sugar. Once I got over the initial withdrawals, it was a largely positive experience. I happily swapped muffins and cakes for almonds and kale chips and for the most part I found I didn’t really miss many sugary foods I’d previously loved.
Except for chocolate.
I know, I know. It’s such a cliché. But I love chocolate.
Like you know when you go to those Melbourne ice cream places and get all excited over the exotic flavours (like sesame seed, or papaya). Yeah, well not me. I always go for the chocolate flavours. Always.
Same with eating out at a restaurant. Seriously, it’s a running joke in my family, “Oh I wonder what dessert Nell will choose. Maybe the lemon soufflé? No, she’ll go for the strawberry crepes. Hahaha.”
So when I quit sugar the only thing I really missed was chocolate. I needed to find a replacement to those super sugary chocolate bars I usually bought.
Intent on my mission, I started Googling (of course). I found places that would ship from overseas, and a couple of stores that seemed to have what I wanted (but I couldn’t really be sure).
Then I stumbled across a business that offered handmade, fructose-free chocolates based in Melbourne. I looked through the website and read about how the owner had also decided to give up sugar, and had then set about developing a range of chocolates that she could eat.
Although the store was on the other side of the city from me, I wanted what they were offering so made the 80 minute round trip to buy chocolate.
As well as a delicious snack, I also came away with a lesson for all you local business out there.
Customers will go out of their way to visit you if you offer something that they really want. You might think it’s crazy to travel that far for a snack food (it’s not, though). But I’ll bet you there are potential customers out there willing to travel just as far to get their hands on what you are offering.
A good online presence is the surest way for new customers to find you. People spend approximately 87% of their day surfing the web* and Google is now a verb and noun. So basically, if you can’t be found online, you can’t be found.
Your website shouldn’t be boring. Tell your story, show your personality. The About Page included a story on why the owner had given up sugar and why she’d decided to create a fructose-free range. That made me want to go there even more. It’s all about feelings, people.
Oh and the chocolate? Totally worth the drive.
* Okay, so I may have exaggerated a little, but you get the idea.
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Image source: Flickr/Tim Sackton