After shipping its remaining holiday orders, Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant (UPIC: CHOCINN), located in Freeport, New York, resumed regular production on January 1 for the first time since Superstorm Sandy struck its facility in October.
“I am proud of our team and proud that we are back in business after recovering from this once-in-a-lifetime storm,” says David Miller, president of Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant. “Sandy dumped five feet of saltwater into our facility and, in the process, destroyed our inventory, equipment and a substantial number of pre-built holiday orders.”
Starting October 31, staff began an exhaustive, company-wide clean-up effort to get the facility production-ready for the holiday season. The remediation process involved ensuring the facility was “food-safe”; investigating, refurbishing, remediating and replacing equipment; and restocking a large majority of the company’s inventory. After 19 days, it was ready to resume shipping customer orders.
“The efforts our team expended were superhuman,” says Adam Cotumaccio, chief operating officer. “While many other local companies shut down, we rallied and got ourselves back on our feet.”
Despite the efforts of the team, the production equipment did not always perform during the busy holiday season. This impacted the accuracy of CITG’s communications with customers, which was particularly frustrating for its award-winning customer service team.
“The most important thing to us was trying to communicate accurately and in a timely manner with our customers, but unfortunately this was no easy task,” said Miller. “The corrosive salt-water damage and the subsequent after-effects caused by the ‘storm of the century’ affected the business at hand to a degree that made this challenging towards the definitive accuracy (to which) we aspired.
“I cannot wait to get back to business and to servicing our customers. I have spent my life in this business,” Miller adds. “I never want to disappoint our customers and look forward to rebuilding and re-developing our relationships. We have a dynamite team and are excited to deliver for our customers in the New Year.”