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2019 Annual Education
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Reimagine your business through relevant education crafted to meet the unique needs of the retail confectioner at RCI’s 2019 Annual Convention & Industry Expo. Through relevant educational sessions led by experts in their fields, learn how to foster creativity in your business, supplement candy sales by adding ice cream to your product mix, lead your business to the forefront of breaking culinary trends, build a portfolio of beautiful product photos and protect your business despite changes to FDA regulations.

The Chocolate Genius
Paul Joachim, Keynote Speaker - Sponsored by Davis Chocolate

Watch as Paul Joachim, “The Chocolate Genius” transforms a block of chocolate into a work of art at an unbelievable speed, while simultaneously sharing his story of producing unpredictable and extraordinary results. You may think you know how your life is going to go; yet in this inspiring and transformative keynote you can discover how your life could be even greater and more magical than you’ve ever imagined!

Release your inner artist by learning how to:

  • Harness creativity in your business
  • Refine your craft through the power of practice
  • Create a career based on purpose
  • Discover the true value of being present
  • Let go of the past and achieve your vision of the future
  • Discover anything is possible through "being" rather than "doing"

Paul conveys storytelling through his chocolate sculptures and sees art as a transformational medium for inspiring audiences, disrupting the status quo and pushing the boundaries. Paul’s unique aptitudes for engineering, harmonized with his craft has allowed him to master the impact of his chocolate art, thrilling audiences with experiences of a lifetime. Ranked as one of the best chocolatiers and chocolate artists in the world, Paul travels the globe showcasing his unique brand of chocolate speed-sculpting at world-class brand launches and internationally-recognized events for clients including Godiva, Delta Airlines, Oreo, Universal Studios, and the NBA. Paul, The Chocolate Genius, has appeared on The Talk on CBS, Australia’s The Today Show, A&E, Hallmark Channel and multiple Food Network shows.


Curating Trends on a Budget
Jenna Derhammer, Blommer Chocolate Company

Lead your business to the forefront of breaking culinary trends as they emerge, so you can adapt and incorporate them into your product mix while remaining relevant. Gain practical and tangible tips for gathering trends without breaking the bank, in addition to insight on the latest industry trends.

Jenna has an undergrad in communications from Emerson College, a culinary degree from the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center) in New York, and a masters in Human Nutrition from Drexel University. She has been with Blommer Chocolate Company for 10 years; starting her career in product development and moving into the Applications & Innovation Manager role. She is currently on the research committee for PMCA, involved in the disruptive innovations challenge at IFT, and is on the board of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association.


Workshop: The Art of Product Photography
Allegra Anderson, Allegra Anderson Photography

Regardless of your skill level, expect to learn basic elements of photography, such as composition and lighting, that will help empower you to build a portfolio of beautiful product photos for your candy business. Whether you use a digital camera or a smart phone, learn tips and tricks to make professional-looking product photos during a live photo shoot demonstration.

Allegra is a nationally-published food and lifestyle photographer and Emmy Award winner. Growing up in a home where her family came together around a home-cooked meal every day, Allegra developed a passion for food and for documenting people who make and appreciate cuisine. Combining this genuine enthusiasm with her technical background and professional experience as a commercial photographer, Allegra produces truly exceptional food and lifestyle photographs that visually convey moods, tastes, and feelings. Allegra’s knack for visual storytelling that she honed while working as the Still Photographer for This Old House allow her to capture stunning lifestyle images that stand out from everything else on the page or the screen.


Adding Ice Cream to Your Business
Panel Discussion

Discover "unscooped" potential for your business and understand what it takes to incorporate ice cream into your candy business. Learn from fellow candy makers sharing triumphs and challenges experienced on the way to become a double threat.


Hot Topics in Food Law and Regulation
Eric Greenberg, Eric F. Greenberg, P.C.

This is an especially challenging era for those in the confectionery business, as changes in law and regulation and new pressures from class action cases about label claims are combining to make life more complicated. Hear from a prominent food lawyer on the most important changes to FDA regulations affecting retail confectioners. Understand how common label claims are defined and regulated and how to best protect your business from associated risks.

Eric F. Greenberg is Principal Attorney of the law firm Eric F. Greenberg, P.C., with a practice concentrated in food and drug law, packaging law and commercial litigation. His food and drug work has included regulatory counseling, label and claims review, negotiations with the FDA and state agencies, handling recalls and more. His firm is based in Chicago and represents clients around the world. In addition to his law practice, Eric teaches food and drug law as well as packaging law and regulation as a member of the adjunct faculty at both Chicago-Kent College of Law and California Polytechnic State University. Eric also wrote the book, Guide to Packaging Law and serves as legal editor and columnist for Packaging World magazine.










Candy Clinic
Get recognized for your creative and innovative ideas! If you have a clever concept that has worked well in your business, you're invited to share it! This session will give you creative ideas for your store as fellow RCI members share during a short presentation about their best products, packaging and marketing. Attendees vote for their favorite entrants, and awards are presented to winners at The Masterpiece Awards Banquet. Categories include:
  • Best Summer Idea
  • Best Christmas Idea
  • Best Valentine's Day Idea
  • Best Easter Idea
  • Best Misc. Holiday Idea
  • Best Marketing/Merchandising Idea
  • Best Packaging Idea
  • Best New Piece
  • Best Innovation

Kettle Talk
Do you want to know the secrets to making great confections? Join this open panel discussion with our experts to ask any question you have about chocolate techniques, production, regulatory affairs, labeling laws, business ownership and more. Drop off questions in advance at the registration desk or ask questions directly during the session.