By Linda Parenteau in the ME Magazine.
Posted on February 17, 2005.
Cocoa, a derivative of chocolate has been around for centuries, enjoyed by king and queens and the elite of their era. Cocoa, was as precious as silk and oils. The earliest name for cocoa was “kakawa” from the Olmec people of the Mexican Gulf Coast. The Maya of Northern Guatemala adopted the word and changed it to cacao. Between 1600-1650 chocolate became a favorite drink of the Spanish court. The production of chocolate began in 1765 in a grinding mill in Massachusetts, the very first in North America.
Ed Patterson had a plan, he had a great recipe and his education at the State University of New York gave him an edge. He knew how to market himself and product well…
He began researching major companies like Godiva and Lindt and found they all began with a “family recipe.” Was it the chocolate that produced multi-million dollar companies or the marketing?
Ed decided he would play the marketing end but with a twist. He knew his chocolate was high quality but needed to market to a different demographic. Why not let the customer choose the desired truffles and package them with their logos. Patterson would produce the chocolates but the clients would place their logo on the logo on the bags or boxes of chocolates they are distributing.
His superb marketing idea, plus his outstanding chocolate recipe blended together to produce Patterson’s success. Ed is a member of eight Chamber of Commerces throughout Rhode Island. He stated 60% of his business has been derived by the contacts and business-after-hours and other networking opportunities most chambers offer. He has produced his “devilishly delicious” truffles for the US Navy, Raytheon (national account), Cox Communications, and even sold eight hundred boxes of truffles to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ed is proud of the fact Patterson, a new very well established and national known leader in the business, for the Los Angeles Lakers order. Ed was also nominated for “Small Business Person of the Year” by his friend and consultant Don Cotham, program manager at the Small Business Development Center at Bryant College.
Ed Patterson has come a long way in a very short time. His recent holiday sales were up ($30,000 in six weeks!) to bring him closer to $100,000 mark. When I queried Ed on a “dream order” without hesitation he stated, “I would love to do the Academy Awards gift baskets!” His love for chocolate and passion about his product will continue to bring him success. One day in the near future Ed will receive a call, a call from the Academy Awards Committee requesting his truffles with the Academy’s logo emblazoned on the beautiful gold boxes.
As Ed indicated to me several times during the interview “chocolate makes you smile,” and I did when he handed me my very own box of mixed truffles!!!