Meet Adriana Schaked and Dafne Reich, franchise co-owners of Schakolad Chocolate Factory, located in Davie, FL
What prompted you to go into business together?
Dafne said: Mommy, I want to start a business. Since you are retired, I want you to help. Mommy (Adriana) decided to lend her business experience and so the story started.
Why Chocolate? What made you choose this company over all others? Chocolate comes very easy to us, it runs in our veins. Adriana’s father had emigrated from Germany to Argentina, where he opened a chocolate factory that eventually became the largest candy factory in Argentina. Adriana actually lived at the chocolate factory. Years later, Adriana’s husband, Bernie, learned the trade, and when the Schaked family migrated to the United States it seemed natural to continue in the chocolate business. Bernie Schaked and his son Edgar opened the first Schakolad in Orlando, and it grew to over 30 franchise stores all over the United States. Isn’t it easy to understand why Adriana and Dafne went into the chocolate business?
It can be a challenge working with a family member, and mother/daughter teams have their own set of challenges. How do you make your partnership work? We have found that we can work well together, especially since we each have our own expertise and work area. Dafne works in production and deals with the clientele that comes into the store. Adriana deals with the corporate world and manages the administration, marketing, branding, and accounting.
Tell us how you market Schakolad?
Since we are a franchise we receive a lot of advice from headquarters. They make it easy to follow the guidelines, by writing press releases for us and administering an email system that connects all our Schakoholic members.
What’s been the most exciting thing that has happened since you opened the store?
The most exciting thing for us has been to be able to help the community, especially through fundraisers. We do a lot of fundraisers together with schools and non-profit organizations. We also assist people in personalizing messages to suit their needs. For instance, last Friday a woman called and said, “My father always asks for a chocolate brown Mercedes for his birthday. Since I cannot afford a real one, can you make one out of chocolate?” So, we made the chocolate Mercedes and wrote “Happy Birthday” in white chocolate on it. She finally made her father’s birthday wish come true. On another occasion, a customer had to visit a person at the hospital and asked me to make a get well platter. We made our usual platter, but right in the middle we added a big chocolate aspirin, reading “Get well”. She was so happy that she even took pictures to show her friends.
Preparing for the Holidays, and then our Schakolad Day in October. This is where we have all of our products on display to show the customers what we do, such as placing their logos on any type of chocolate to help businesses promote their own services and products. Through Schakolad Day, our business customers will be able to make an early decision and enjoy a discount for participating.
Any parting advice for our readers?
Think outside the box to try and help others in these difficult times. For instance, we decided to give everyone a break this summer by offering $1 Summer Specials. Every day of the week there is a different special that appeals to everyone: lattes, pretzels, chocolate covered strawberries, ice cream and chocolate lollypops. We also helped parents find an activity that was both educational and entertaining for their children, by allowing children into our chocolate factory to learn to make chocolate.
For more information visit their website at www.schakolad.com/store20