Every once in awhile, we’ll get the “What’s up with the owl?” when people visit our store. You see owls scattered amongst the products, modeling one of our hats, on a few product labels here and there…. they’re cute right? But this particular owl means more to us than just a novelty trend.
When I started The Chocolate Season, I was fresh out of college and honestly, wondering why anyone in the world would want to order from me. Luckily, my sorority sisters from Chi Omega at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, knew I had embarked on this new adventure, and started ordering online straight away. Active sisters and alumni were ordering for themselves, for friends and family, did several weddings, and the chapter itself used me for a large event in the spring that year.
I started getting busy enough that I had to hire help…and who would I trust more than my immediate sorority family? My “little sisters” became my first employees and it was so special to know TCS was a “family business” from the get-go. Even today, I have a sorority sister Courtney, who has long since moved away from Nebraska, but every year for the last 15 years has ordered Rocky Road Popcorn (amongst a few other things) for herself, and her family. Every year. And every year she emails, saying how much she loves it, and she’s so excited to gift it, even though its the same recipe I’ve used for over a decade.
Even now, an alum 15 years later, Chi Omega still shows up for me and my business. I had a massive wholesale order, 4xs larger than we had ever attempted before, and I was worried about the resources I had available to complete it.
I was talking to my husband about the idea of reaching out to the Chi Omegas at University of Nebraska-Lincoln to see if I could grab some sister to package. That same day, a few hours later, who walks in? A sorority sister. Not any sorority sister, but the Sisterhood Chair of Chi Omega from UNL. I approached her table, told her about our need and she said “We’ll help you.”
We planned a girls’ night at the shop, almost a dozen girls showed up, and we had such a fun time connecting. Even though they didn’t know me, they knew I was a sister, and that’s all that mattered. (Order went great by the way…met the deadline and had rave reviews!)
Well what does this have to do with the owl? Owls are the mascot for Chi Omega. The owl stands for wisdom, reminding us sisters to always strive for knowledge and understanding through all our stages of life. The Chocolate Season owl reminds me of the love and support I received from Chi Omega, but it also stands for wisdom, in that one of our three core values includes “Be Fed”.
At TCS, it is imperative our staff be open to new ideas, to helpful pro tips from teammates, to strive to always learn new trends in the industry, innovative ways to keep our customers delighted, and to never be stagnant in how we run our business, serve our customers, or with the products we dream up every day.
So now when you see that owl, that’s our way of saying this product has our stamp of approval- its been imagined and executed with care, created by a team that values camaraderie and continued education in the culinary craft, and most of all, made with love and family in mind.