accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Cacao Buckhead Closed By Fire Seeks Funding

cacaologo

A fire that started at the Peachtree Bikes store has closed the Cacao Atlanta Buckhead store, located in the same strip mall on Peachtree Road.

Soon after, there was a plea to “Save Cacao Atlanta Buckhead” on the gofundme crowdfunding site: gofundmecomcacao.

This afternoon, I spoke to Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co. founder Kristen Hard, a pioneer of bean-to-bar, origin-driven chocolate in Atlanta, with a factory on the Westside and stores in Buckhead and Virginia-Highland.

Hard sighed when she answered the phone, then explained that her company had insurance but it wouldn’t be enough soon enough to save it from disaster during its busiest time of year.

“Basically, the two stores fund the entire business of production,” Hard said. “Without a store, we don’t have a factory. We have bills to pay because we have a factory and we have employees.”

And it gets worse, with Valentine’s Day ahead, Hard said.

“We’re at maximum capacity for our chocolate production. All the product that we stocked in the store for the holidays is all gone. The insurance company said, ‘You’re down. You’re done. Christmas is done. You need to just realize that. And we’re not sure we can get you up and running properly before Valentine’s Day.’ ”

You can still shop at 1046 N Highland Ave. cacaoatlanta.com.

— By Bob Townsend, for the AJC Food and More blog.

26 comments Add your comment

Alison

December 6th, 2013
4:41 pm

It’s possible I’m way wrong, so forgive me but: couldn’t they ask for a loan? Why make customers, who already give you money, pay for your business?

Lourdes

December 6th, 2013
6:03 pm

Harvey

December 6th, 2013
7:23 pm

Along with their business license application, they should have been required to show proof of insurance.

Katherine

December 6th, 2013
10:56 pm

Offer better stuff at each level and I would consider helping, otherwise get a loan.

Edward

December 6th, 2013
11:01 pm

I see people like Harvey don’t bother reading the article. Insurance will only do so much, in fact, insurance companies are only going to do the bare minimum they can get away with. Capitalism! They’re not going to pay for lost sales, they’re not going to magically replicate the inventory that was lost. This is a real tragedy, Cacao has made a national, if not world-wide, name for itself in the ultra-high-end chocolate industry. I felt fortunate to live in the neighborhood so I could sample their morsels occasionally.

proofreading is cool

December 6th, 2013
11:27 pm

yeah if you’re going to misspell the word Cacao maybe don’t do it in the headline?

Marge-ing

December 7th, 2013
7:58 am

proofreading….that comment sure adds a lot. Thanks for playing!

Baltisraul.....

December 7th, 2013
8:07 am

Edward, you make capitalism sound like a dirty word. By your own words, indicated Cacao is a world-wide capitalistic company. You either are one or you are not. Reguardless, this is a sad story for this worthwhile company. I hope they find a solution.

Owen

December 7th, 2013
11:58 am

Given the prices at Cacao I find it surprising they have budget issues even despite a fire

TEA PARTY MEBER

December 7th, 2013
7:14 pm

Enter your comments here

Mike

December 8th, 2013
10:13 am

I’ve read Ms. Hard’s Facebook page and something does not add up. It sounds as if her business was teetering on edge prior to the fire and now she is using the fire to illicit sympathy from the public. That may all be fine if she were to do so in a more entrepreneurial manner to drive traffic to her remaining store rather than to just ask for donations. I have to wonder where she came up with the fundraising goal of $100,000. Would that assume she would receive no insurance payout or is that on top of whatever the insurance company gives her? As I stated before, something does not add up.

M1

December 9th, 2013
7:49 am

@ Edward – you can buy business interruption insurance. Unfortunately it seems she did not.

Joe

December 9th, 2013
9:52 am

M1, you are correct. This business owner failed to purchase the proper insurance protection and now wants crowd funding to save it? At the very least – I’d go after Peachtree Bike’s insurance (where the fire originated) or make sure your own insurance agent made you sign off that you didn’t want to purchase the coverage needed. If not, you could make a professional liability errors & omission claim against the insurance agent. Or maybe this is just a clever PR move – free publicity.

Katherine

December 10th, 2013
12:11 pm

Wow. First she lowers the donation levels, then gets rid of them all together. Then she lowers the goal from $100,000 to $1 to ensure she gets every dollar donated. Definitely a PR move, not very clever. I will not buy from Cacao again.

AtlantaMarietta

December 10th, 2013
12:47 pm

I am sorry about the fire. But believe this is their problems. I have heard her sister is asking for donations on Facebook. If their insurance doesn’t pay soon enough, get alone. Or, hey, get rid of the BMW she drives.

AtlantaMarietta

December 10th, 2013
12:50 pm

See a lot of travel photos from trips all over the world, how does her sister fund that and then beg for money?

Baltisraul.....

December 10th, 2013
3:43 pm

AtlantaMarietta….. ‘trips all over the world’, she must be doing God’s work? Can anyone say Rev Ike!

Mike

December 10th, 2013
5:15 pm

I hear a lot of sour grapes here. If you don’t want to contribute to their campaign then don’t. Here’s another perspective. I travel for my job. I often travel to Atlanta and make it a point to visit Cacao because of the high quality of the chocolate. It’s as least as good as what I’ve found at Mast Brothers in Brooklyn, NY and that’s saying a lot if you know chocolate. If they go out of business you will have lost a landmark business that is recognized world-wide but that operates locally. Sometimes it’s easy to not appreciate the value of something when it’s sitting in your front yard. I hope they survive this.

Bob from Accounttemps

December 10th, 2013
5:59 pm

@Mike – Sour Grapes?? Really?? They’re just absolutely, unequivocally, mean.

Baltisraul.....

December 11th, 2013
8:07 am

Mike..I did not detect sour grapes in those comments. A difference of opinion maybe and questions of need possibly, but not sour gapes.

Baltisraul.....

December 11th, 2013
10:20 am

Bob from……….don’t you just hate mean? Especially when it is the unequivocable kind.

Gerbiles

December 11th, 2013
3:57 pm

I’ve read an awful lot about the chocolate/endorphin connection, chocolate making you happy, etc., etc. Yet, every time I’ve been in one of Cacao’s shops or met any of them at an event, I’ve been greeted by dour, lifeless women that seem like they’d rather I wasn’t taking up their time. I think they’ve got something wrong in their recipe.

That being said, I wish them nothing bad, and it sucks to have your business damaged by a fire, but as someone said earlier – things don’t add up. If your business is such a runaway success (as I keep hearing it is), how is this the end of days? Why didn’t they die off when they only had one store? If you have so much business lined up for Valentines, why can’t your pre-orders cover your costs. You might lose profitability for a quarter or two or three, but out of business?

Again, I don’t know the particulars of Cacao’s business and hope for the best for them, but crowdfunding to pull poor planning out of a hole…? Don’t like it.

Edward

December 12th, 2013
10:35 am

Some people perhaps get the service they deserve. Every time I was in Cacao, I was greeted warmly and had all the various offerings explained. Conversations about neighborhood events, upcoming items to expect. Of course, I also see some people complaining about bad service in some restaurants where I’ve had nothing but great service. Maybe if you are getting such terrible service everywhere, the problem is YOU.
What I see here are a bunch of people seemingly gloating over someone else’s misfortune, quick to aggrandize themselves as superior because they surely would have done something different. How very pathetic.

Gerbiles

December 12th, 2013
3:27 pm

Edward, you’re making more assumptions than anyone. The only thing pathetic in this discussions is petty interjections like yours that prove a lack of comprehension.

Unfortunately, our culture has come to the point where we run away from hard conversation and discussion and hide behind words like “mean”, “pathetic”, “offensive”, etc.

Say what you want, but offer up something to the conversation. People are questioning the logic of the business owners actions after the fire. I’m pretty sure that not a single person on this thread wishes anything negative on Cacao. I want that business to succeed. I’d love for it to be the biggest, baddest chocolate maker in the country. But that doesn’t mean I have to bend over and agree with every action they take, especially when that action seems odd. Welcome to the world of business – you take a step in this world, people are going to notice. You don’t have to like what they say, and they don’t have to like what you do.

Get over yourself.

Edward

December 13th, 2013
9:40 am

But you, nor anyone else here, knows what steps the business owner took. YOU are only guessing, and assuming the worst and extolling how YOU would certainly do things better because you’re so wonderful and perfect. You people are truly pathetic. You’re all ghouls.

Gerbiles

December 13th, 2013
12:23 pm

Edward – wake up. YOU are guessing as much as anyone else. No one here has professed “fact” only their opinions base on the information that CACAO has put into the ether. YOU are assuming the worst of everyone who doesn’t roll over and cry “poor, pitiful Cacao”. YES – I would do different. YES – I HAVE done different.

Yet another flaw with “social” media. Don’t put yourself and your actions out there and then bitch and moan when you’re not immediately hoisted by the crowd and cheered on.