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  #1  
Old 10-25-2011, 12:52 PM
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Default The Rise and Fall of the Great West Chocolate Company

My wife was looking through old 35mm negatives when she found these photos. I hope you enjoy the story that goes with them.
It was 1995, and I was working in dark clay relief of a large buffalo head that I hoped to sell to the new bank that was opening in Cody Wyoming, whose logo was a buffalo.
One evening, a wine salesman was visiting my shop. I showed him the sculpture I was working on, “wouldn’t this make a great chocolate?” His reply was “It’s too big, but I think if you made them smaller you could sell hundreds of them.
That was the beginning of The Great West Chocolate Company.
Over the next few months I found a box maker in N.Y. a mold maker in Kansas, and a specialty chocolate maker in Ohio that would fill my molds and the 1000 boxes of chocolates required as a minimum order.
In the meantime I was working diligently on several low relief pieces that I felt would appeal to the many tourists that migrated through Cody on their way to Yellowstone Park.
After a year of planning designing and paying I received my first shipment of six large boxes full of delicious milk chocolate sculpture. I was sure that this was the answer to the financial problems that all free spirited people experience.
Soon I would find a distributor, sell chocolates by the freight car full, make a lot of money, and then retire on a beach in Mexico.
My first problem was that the cartons of chocolate took up a lot of space, so I moved them down to the cellar where it was cool and they would not melt.
It was with joy and excitement that I opened the cartons, took out and examined the fruits of my labors. Then the realization hit me. Who was going to sell them? I had my engraving work, plus I was waiting on tables at night.
I decided to hire someone to market them for me as I opened one box; broke the work of art into pieces put a large chunk in my mouth and let the sweetness melt away my marketing worries.
One month later the person I hired came to me with her bill for travel, hotels, advertising, phone, and wages. The expenses put the Great West Chocolate Co. into dire financial distress as the net profits on each box sold were $2.75cents.
Time passed and the chocolates began to turn from a rich brown to an unappetizing grayish. It was then that this great enterprise died. The chocolates were given to anyone who expressed even the faintest interest in them. I finally got rid of the whole lot by donating them to the cancer drive, the old folk’s home and the local library.
I did manage to recover my expenses by selling the bronze images over the course of several years.
Thanks for looking, and have a great day.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: The Rise and Fall of the Great West Chocolate Company

Thanks for the great story Joseph!

Too bad you don't still have the molds. Now that you could use the Internet to sell the chocolates you could make it work.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: The Rise and Fall of the Great West Chocolate Company

HI Joseph!Thank you for your very interesting story. I also had a similar experience.Julia.http://www.handengravingforum.com/al...pictureid=4919
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: The Rise and Fall of the Great West Chocolate Company

Steve.
The best part of this project was touching those boxes of chocolates that once existed only in my imagination. Take an idea then turn it into something visible and tangible is what I love doing,
Julia, your chocolate looks like it was fun. I hope that it was a big success. The original was cut in bone?
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: The Rise and Fall of the Great West Chocolate Company

Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph engraver View Post
Julia, your chocolate looks like it was fun. I hope that it was a big success. The original was cut in bone?
Thanks, Joseph! My enterprise had no success, anyway for me .Chocolate on a photo is represented full-scale, in a bone it in the same way. Julia.
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