Scott Wayne tells a visitor at Foiled Again not to expect Oompa Loompas running around the chocolate room.
“It’s what everyone wants to know,” he says, referring to the characters from the “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” film.
There’s no chocolate river, either. Just boxes and boxes filled with chocolate coins. When Wayne got into the business 16 years ago, he was a full-service chocolatier producing everything from bars to bunnies.
“We tried to make everything for everyone,” he says. “That was our downfall.”
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These days, Foiled Again, a mostly web-based business, puts all its efforts into a single item: chocolate coins imported from Belgium. Wayne buys 2 to 3 million at a time – they have an 18-month shelf life – and keeps the chocolate room at a cool 70 degrees.
The coins arrive blank. Foiled Again does the design and imprinting.
“We have 3,000 designs, and we can create anything for any event,” he says. “Our graphic designers can come up with anything.”
A design can be completed within an hour, and Foiled Again is able to produce a finished product with a 36-hour turnaround. The stamping machine spits out 4,000 personalized coins an hour.
Although the majority of customers are corporate, Foiled Again is popular for weddings.
“It’s a fairly inexpensive giveaway,” Wayne says. “Demand has never really gone away, even in hard economic times.
“Everybody loves chocolate. It’s a comfort food, which works to our benefit.”
Wayne says he wanted a quality product from the start.
“We set out to change the perception of chocolate coins,” he said. “People remember the waxy gritty coins from their childhood. We searched for a chocolate people would enjoy.
“That has been the motivating factor for us: to get a good product with more selection and to personalize the coins.”
An early decision to use a Belgian chocolate supplier unwittingly singled him out as one of the few survivors among stiff competition. When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, it crippled a major New Jersey chocolate supplier.
“A lot of the buyers were wiped out along with it,” he says. “We avoided that because we buy our chocolate from Belgium. Sandy changed the face of the industry.”
September kicks off his busiest season, Wayne says. He will take on temporary workers, and by November expects to be shipping 30 to 60 orders a day.
Wayne is happy with his decision to move his business from Houston to Cary last year.
“It was solely for personal reasons,” he says. “We were ready for a new adventure and wanted a family-oriented place for our two young kids.
“One night, over a bottle of wine, we took out a map and started crossing out places we didn’t want to live,” he said. “We were looking for seasons and for lots to do and lots of outside things to do. Eventually, we landed on the Triangle.
“Cary is a real inviting town,” he said. “Everybody we’ve met here has been terrific. We’ve never second-guessed our decision to move.”
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About Foiled Again Chocolate Coins
Contact: 919-342-4601 or www.foiledagainchocolate.com