Gearharts Fine Chocolates working to beat supply chain shortages

Gearharts Fine Chocolates works to stay ahead of supply issues during a busy holiday season
Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 4:46 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Supply chain issues are slowing down Charlottesville’s award-winning chocolate shop, but they’re working to come out on top.

Tim Gearhart says orders are rolling in as they prepare for the new year.

“It’s certainly about the busiest time of the year for us,” Tim Gearhart, the owner of Gearharts Fine Chocolates said.

About 3,000 chocolates are usually made on a typical day. In the last six weeks, though, they’ve averaged more than 5,000 per day.

Now, they’re facing some challenges.

“I think our biggest problems this year are dealing with packaging,” Gearhart said.

Chocolatier Maureen Scott says the boxes they use were delivered slower than usual.

“They didn’t arrive on time,” she said. “We had to improvise with some other supplies that we had in our shop to make sure those chocolates got packed up and sent out.”

Warehouse staffing shortages are part of the problem. Another issue in the supply chain for the company is finding some ingredients, specifically ginger. Then, there is also the matter of chocolate pallets arriving slowly.

“So this year I bought, it had to be about four pallets, just to get us through the Christmas rush,” Gearhart said.

They say plans are already being made to handle the end-of-year rush.

“We start ramping up our hours and our production, and we bring a few more people along to help with that,” Scott said.

Scott says their success is due to a mix of dedication, experience, and support.

“We’ve been doing this for 20 years, so we’ve had a lot of experience behind all this,” she said.

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