10 Questions With Jenn, a Factory Employee
10 Questions With….
A new series showing you a little bit of work-life in the Chocolate Factory!
Jenn, Factory Employee
Q1. I see you’re working on our painted chocolate roses. What are the steps that go into creating these beauties?
Jenn: The molds have to be painted, then the painted layer cooled. Lydia shoots the molds, adds the skewer. Then, they cool again, usually about 15 minutes. Then the skewer is wrapped with floral tape to become the stem.
The leaves are added and a satin ribbon is tied around the stem. They are bagged, labeled, and tied with ribbon again. It’s about 20 minutes from start to finish for one rose, but we never just make ONE rose. Usually, we make 60-100 roses at a time.
Q2. When do you find yourself making roses?
Jenn: Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and whenever there is a special order.
Q3. What do you think is the most time-consuming product made in this part of the factory?
Jenn: Anything painted, like these roses! Well, that, and Almond Buttercrunch. They have to cook it, cool it, score it, break it, enrobe them and then dip them and package them. It’s a lot.
Q4. How long have you worked for Wilbur’s?
Jenn: Well, let’s see, 15 years ago I started here. I worked for three years and left to be a stay-at-home mom. Then, I came back in 2011. When I first started here, I worked retail, not in the factory. I like the fast pace of the factory. I’m very task oriented.
Q5. Well, that’s a lot of time! Lots of chances for sampling. Tell us, what’s your favorite chocolate?
Jenn: Almond Buttercrunch! It’s a lot of work like I said, but it’s so worth it. Especially when you get a piece the same day it’s made. Plus, when we make it, I get to use the enrober. I enjoy that because it’s something different for me.
Q6. What’s your favorite chocolate to make? Don’t say Almond Buttercrunch!
Jenn: Actually it might be the roses. They are so beautiful when they’re done. I’m involved in almost all the steps so I can look at it all packaged. I really feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. It’s rewarding to see a job fulfilled.
Q7. What are the hours you generally work in the factory?
Jenn: Well, 7-3:30, but later if needed.
Q8. What’s the first thing you do at 7 am?
Jenn: Punch in! Then, put on my apron, work shirt, and hat. I check the production schedule and turn on any machines we need so the chocolate tempers.
Q9. What do you like about working in a chocolate factory?
Jenn: Every day is different and there’s always something to do, I like to stay busy. I also like my coworkers. It makes the day fun if there is laughter. We can joke around. Plus, the hours fit my schedule as a single mom. I’ve even been able to bring my son to work so he can see what I do all day.
Q10. What is something you wish everyone knew about making chocolates?
Jenn: The time it takes. Even “simple” chocolate has a lot of work in it. We all take a great deal of pride in that work.