Specialty food company Sweet Secrets Chocolate has been a client of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the College of DuPage since late 2013. The firm provides a unique chocolate pretzel "pizza" product for the corporate gift and mass merchant markets. Sales continue annual increases due to Sweet Secret's varied product offerings and packaging. This success led to relocation from a shared kitchen to their own commercial kitchen with expanded production capacity.
The Illinois SBDC at COD worked with Sweet Secret partners Terri Kinney and Dede Barnicle on developing a yearly marketing plan for the corporate gift market.
The pair said, "A good idea without proper implementation is still a good idea. But what makes entrepreneurs successful is the ability to take that good idea and create a thriving business. The knowledge, resources, time, and encouragement we received from the SBDC helped give our business a solid foundation for growth. As a small business, early decisions are crucial to the longevity and long term strategic opportunities of any company. Sweet Secrets Chocolate found an entire team of professionals at the SBDC who continue to work side by side with us and help guide us on our sweet journey."
Sweet Secrets products are available in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog and at Macy's and Wagman's Supermarkets. Additional assistance was provided on developing product cost and margins per item, financing and location selection.
Business Development Center
Main Line: (630) 942-2600
535 Duane Street, Office 233
Glen Ellyn IL 60137
Rita Haake, Center Manager
Phone: (630) 942-2184
Fax: (630) 942-2606
Summer Hours (Through Aug. 9)
Monday to Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.