Ways to Support Us:
1. Stay Home!
The overwhelming evidence from all of the world's experts indicates that staying home as much as possible will flatten the curve and save lives. Each time you leave your home and interact with others you expose them and yourselves to a risk of COVID19 spread and even dealth. The exponential growth of COVID19 in the US is mind boggling and it's overwhelming our health care providers who are now running on fumes, rationing masks and gloves and working in unsafe conditions. This puts us all at risk not only for COVID19 spread but for the collateral damages that go hand in hand with an overtaxed health care system. This is a major reason we closed operations other than to provide for our health care community. STAY HOME!
On March 25, 2020, I decided to temporarily close our operations due to COVID19. I made peace with the fact that, as a sole business owner and operator, and as a single mom, it wasn’t feasible to change the way I operate without a staff I don’t have, and in a way that would keep myself, my son and the community safe.
It’s been difficult emotionally and obviously financially. CocoVaa has provided the pulse that has given our lives purpose since we started. We’ve been the proud witnesses of and participants in some of the most momentous events in our customers’ lives - birthdays, weddings, religious and spiritual ceremonies, apologies, or simple self indulgences and self rewards. As the owner/founder/maker, I can’t really describe in words the grief I feel over the loss in human interactions with our customers who have faithfully weathered the storms of the ups and downs with us.
After deciding to temporarily close, being in our chocolate kitchen which my kids and I designed and built from the ground up, with the purpose of bringing people joy and unique experiences through confectionery and desserts, became suddenly very depressing. Aside from grieving over a lost sense of purpose, watching my revenue flatline overnight right before Easter was surreal. I still had a ton of ingredients, many of which are specialty ingredients which wouldn’t do people much good right now even if I donated them.
Just after I closed, I spoke to one of our regulars who works as a nurse in a local medical facility. She had just come off from a double shift where she described anxiety over the shortage of gloves and masks in her facility. She just wanted a simple indulgence, so I loaded her up with treats. She acted like she won the lottery. It gave me a jolt of fuzzy warm energy that broke through the thickening fog of meaninglessness and hopelessness.
It sparked an idea as to what we should do with our ingredients, some finished product, and our time, as we, like the world, anxiously wait out this scary period in human history.
We decided to share what we have with the medical community who are working on overdrive trying to keep people healthy and alive in this unprecedented world wide battle to control and hopefully eradicate COVID19. It is mutually beneficial in that it gives us continuity with our sense of purpose and it lets these folks know that they are loved and respected for sacrificing their lives each day they go to work right now.
The mechanics of it are easy since we can deliver to many people at one destination. We pulled out some special purple boxes we’ve been saving for a home tempering kit we were going to sell at some point and we’re now using them as “shift boxes” packing them full of multiples of individually packaged chocolates that can be deployed easily to minimize cross contamination risks. The boxes are purple so they stand out and the source is more readily apparent - something important considering the heightened security needs of medical personnel right now.
In the midst of all this, something else happened. As we prepped our first treat delivery order which went to emergency workers at a local hospital, a childhood friend of mine, Stephanie, knocked on the window of my shop. Like a lot of other friends she’s been trying to give me donations to increase our chances of surviving this. Until now, I haven’t accepted donations because most of my friends are in the same boat. I told my good friend what we were doing and then thought that this could be a way to sustain this mission to gift indulges to medical front line workers longer term, while simultaneously supporting my business - through monetary donations and building a community of supporters who want to see us through long term.
We deliberately have not put any limits on donations. We know that spending any money right now is a luxury that many of our customers don't have. We appreciate any support, even if you're simply engaging with us on social media and letting us know you're there.
Thank you to all who have expressed solidarity with us, as a small business, and as humans sharing a universal experience. Stay Strong, Stay Healthy, Stay Home.