One of the reasons I started my website is that I wanted a place for women to come together and dream. We women need to know that we don't have to hang on to an old dream that has stopped nurturing us that there is always time to start a new dream. This week's story is about a couple who loves chocolate almost as much as they love each other, which is a lot! Ashley and Shawn Mendel quit their day jobs and took a chance on starting their own chocolate company. Their risks paid off today, they're at the helm of a sweet multimilliondollar empire. The couple met in a movie theater, where Ashley's exuberance over a bag of M caused the colorful candies to explode all over the man seated in front of her. That was Shawn, and those M led to their first date and a love story that would be forever laced in chocolate.
"We even wrote chocolate into our wedding vows," Ashley laughed. "I promised to always have it within 50 feet of Shawn. And, yes, there were monogrammed M at our reception."
So when the couple began to grow weary of their jobs in the entertainment business, Ashley in marketing and Shawn in production, they decided to follow their entrepreneurial dreams a coproduction that included their shared passion for chocolate.
"The first time I went home with Shawn to meet his family," Ashley said, "he told me the story of how his Mom would put him up on the counter and have him break up homemade cookie bits. She'd melt chocolate and then create clusters which she'd put in the refrigerator. We'd make our own version of those at home and our friends loved them. There was really nothing out there that compared. So we decided to go to the source and made a deal. We wanted to bring Shawn's Mom's recipe to market and she was happy to give it to us with one condition that it would bring her grandchildren."
"We were in the throes of love, so we thought we could do anything. Had we known how much we didn't know, we probably would have been paralyzed with fear."
Article continues below slideshow
A Booming BusinessFunley's has gone from a small startup to a multimilliondollar company. The Mendels are projecting nearly 10 million dollars in revenue by the end of 2014!
Sweet CoupleChocolate is central to Ashley and Shawn's love story they met when Ashley's M exploded all over her future husband at the movies! Here they are "sugaring off" in Mont Tremblant, Canada in wholesale jerseys the early days.
Unique Wedding VowsThe Mendels love chocolate so much that they even wrote it into their wedding vows. Ashley promised to always have chocolate within a 50foot radius of her husband. Now that's true love!
Dream WeddingAshley and Shawn tied the knot in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Of course, their wedding cake was chocolate.
A Wild RideAshley and Shawn got adventurous on their honeymoon in Bali.
Making SalesLucy, the couple's dog (and Funley's mascot), shows off a Funley's sales kit the night before Ashley and Shawn's very first sales meeting.
Funley's First HeadquartersFunley's had a modest beginning the Mendels set up a home office to get their business off the ground.
Getting Off The GroundShawn and Ashley show off their first production of Stix In The Mud, the first treat they pitched to buyers at a huge candy expo in Chicago.
Three Cheers For ChocolateShawn celebrates his birthday with a big slice of chocolate cake what else?
Chocolate On WheelsThe Funley's Mobile delivers sweet treats wherever it goes! Mascot Lucy says "hello" to chocolate lovers from the window.
Free SamplesAshley and Shawn drum up business by sharing Funley's at an LA Zoo event.
Taking On Trade ShowsAshley and Shawn give out free samples of their delicious products at the Expo West trade show. Who can resist?
Sold Out In MinutesStix In The Mud sold out in four minutes during their QVC debut! Shawn was a natural on TV.
Naturally DeliciousWholly Granolly Clusters straight out of the oven yum! This Wholesale NFL Jerseys natural treat was formulated with the goal of getting Funley's into Whole Foods. The plan worked! 11,000 other stores followed suit, and soon, Funley's was funded 3.5 million dollars by the Nutrition Capital Network.
The Funley's TeamFunley's creative crew is hard at work!
Supermarket StaplesAshley proudly points to Funley's on the shelf at Safeway. The Mendels' treats are also sold at major retailers like Whole Foods and Walgreens.
Nutrition Capital NetworkAshley presented at the Nutrition Capital Network, a gathering of highnetworth individuals and private equity firms with an interest in natural foods, to raise financing for Funley's.
Angel InvestorsShawn and Ashley had a proud moment after signing a term sheet with investors.
Blinded By LoveWhen the Mendels began their business, they were in the throes of love and believed they could do anything. If they had known what they know about business today, they would have been terrified!
Work Hard, Play HardThe Funley's crew takes a board meeting lunch break on the beach in Santa Monica, CA.
Following Through On Their PromiseThe Mendels told Shawn's mother that if she gave them her secret chocolate recipe, they would give her grandchildren. Now that Funley's is wildly successful, they can fulfill their promise!
But the couple did know one thing they knew they had a friend in the candy business and he was more than willing to point them in the right direction to a trade show in Chicago that featured 3.5 acres of sweet treats.
Keywords: wholesale jerseys