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2019 Fall Education
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2019 RCI Fall Regional Conference




What a Cluster!
Beth Sachan, Goo Goo Cluster

Listen to the 107-year story of Goo Goo, its historical significance to the industry and to both Nashville and the South. Discover how the company transitioned from strictly wholesale distribution for over 100 years, to open a successful 4,000 square-foot retail operation in 2014. Gain insight on how to build an iconic candy brand by learning about the company’s product mix, marketing, branding and events strategies.

Beth Sachan is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nashville’s iconic candy, Goo Goo Cluster. Since starting with the company in 2011, Beth has overseen the marketing efforts behind the company’s 100-year anniversary celebration, launched successful retail campaigns at retailers like Cracker Barrel, Walgreens, and Kroger, and managed all PR and advertising for the flagship Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar in Downtown Nashville.


The Importance of Traceability
Dr. Bob Strong, SAI Global Assurance

Understand traceability and the requirements for your business as a retail confectioner. The session will include why there should be a focus on traceability for businesses of all sizes, as well as the consequences facing both your business and public health if not done properly.

Bob Strong has almost 50 years of experience in the food industry, while working for national (Kroger) and international (Nestle) companies in quality assurance, product development and auditing. He is an often-requested seminar speaker in the areas of GMP, HACCP and Food Safety Plans. Ph.D. and BSC in Chemistry from Liverpool, England and an accomplished food safety trainer for numerous food safety manager certification courses.


From the Stage to the Stove
Mackenzie Colt, Colt’s Chocolates

Mackenzie Colt shares how she went from show business to owning her own candy business, and key lessons she learned along the way. With roots in writing songs and performing, Mackenzie starred on the television show, Hee Haw, for six years before becoming taking a leap on her passion for candy making in 1984.

Mackenzie Colt, the founder and owner of Colts Chocolates, has been writing songs and performing since she was a young girl. Mackenzie has performed alongside of countless country stars for six years on Hee Haw before moving on to her dream of creating her own chocolate business. Colts Chocolates has a rich history and deep roots in the Nashville country music scene.



Creating Experiences with Chocolate
Carmen Romeo, Fascia’s Chocolates

Discover how you can create unique experiences with chocolate, beyond retail sales in your stores. Gain practical advice as Fascia’s Chocolates shares details on activities that have made this family business a tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors seeking their chocolates and unique tours. Gain practical advice and guidelines to implement similar activities in your business.

Carmen Romeo is the son in-law of Fascia's founders, John and Helen Fascia. He is an engineer by training with extensive manufacturing management and technical sales experience. Carmen joined Fascia's in 2009 after the business was forced to suddenly move from its location of 18 years into an industrial park. While re-growing Fascia's retail and wholesale business, they started to host birthday parties and truffle-making classes. In 2013 Fascia's purchased a building and outfitted it as a tourist destination that has since drawn over 35,000 visitors.



The ABCs of CBD
Joel Chappelle, Food Industry Counsel

Still confused about CBD? In the ABC’s of CBD, you will explore not only what is CBD and its history, but also where it comes and how it is used. Attendees will also gain an understanding of what legal risks are involved in working with CBD and the considerations that must take place before entering the CBD market.

Joel Chappelle has more than a decade of food safety, legal and consulting experience. He began his career working on behalf of some of the nation’s largest food companies, helping them manage high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks and the litigation which followed. His experience also includes helping food companies resolve a wide-range of complex food safety legal and regulatory issues, and also manage food product recalls and related insurance claims. Joel is a proud veteran of the United States Army and he continues to serve his community and those in need through other organizations.




Candy Clinic
Do 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 new ideas.

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.