This past June, as we were seeing orders come from all over the country, we had to SHUT EVERYTHING DOWN.
The sun, burning bright at 27M°F, was sweltering and causing our chocolate to melt and bloom (Why does Chocolate Bloom?) on the way to all of our customers. Multiple attempts to restrict shipping to states with cooler temps were made, but unfortunately, the chocolate continued to be temperamental.
When we first launched, Nebula had partnered with a third-party logistics company to stock and ship all of our chocolate. They had a seamless Shopify integration, a built-in shipment tracker, and email updates.
We were all set for a perfect customer experience!
However, just a month after we began shipping with the 3PL, rates were raised on storage, pick & pack and wholesale shipments. We were unfortunately at their mercy and had to stomach the price change.
As a boot-strapped startup, this hurt. Our costs were already higher for ingredients and production because we aren’t at the volume of the big guys.
So we doubled down on making some changes!
#1: We Broke Up with our 3PL and Created an Apartment Warehouse
That honeymoon period went quick with our 3PL and since we shut down operations, we decided it was time to see other people.
They didn’t make it easy or cheap, but a few months ago we booked a refrigerated freight truck to pick up all our chocolate and bring it to our home-base in Austin. We took it a step further and decided to turn the apartment den into our new warehouse!
When the freight arrived, it was nearly 100 degrees outside, and we had 2000 boxes of chocolate to get inside quickly!
With the chocolate now in our new warehouse, we’ve been able to cut our costs on storage and shipping - allowing us to pass those savings to all of our customers with a 12.5% reduction.
#2: Pre-Orders Launched
With our chocolate safely stowed in air-conditioned orbit we were twiddling our thumbs. Preparing for our relaunch, we integrated with a new system for shipping once we could turn the lights back on - and found a partner to launch pre-orders!
In appreciation of everyone’s patience as we wait out the sun, we decided to offer a 15% Off discount for all our chocolate.
#3: We Hit the Streets - Taste Tester Vids
Even with pre-orders, nobody was able to eat our chocolate. So to ensure people could try our zero sugar chocolate and continue to spread our mission to eliminate added sugars from the snacking aisle - so taking after Billy Eichner - we hit the streets!
Check out our series of Nebula Chocolate reviews across Austin on our TikTok or Instagram!
Here are some of our favs!
Family Tested, Kid Approved!
Oat Milk on a Diet
Dark Chocolate Gets a 100 Rating
#4: Launch is Fast Approaching
White pants haven’t been allowed since Labor Day, but the sun continued to bear down on us in Texas - preventing the re-launch.
Austin has been in the 90’s until just this past week, where we had a drastic drop to the 60’s! I’ve never been excited for cold weather, but this year we’re ecstatic!
October 27th has been our target date and now that we’re a week away, we’re seeing a Green Light! We’re monitoring a few states and weather across the country before we ship out all of our pre-orders, but our Nebula chocolate will be en route and on your doorsteps before Halloween!
Perfect timing to swap out the sugar filled candy bags, for an out of this world delicious zero sugar Nebula chocolate!
If you still want to grab your pre-order for 15% Off - you can grab it here.