Hatch Family Chocolates, the Avenues-based chocolate shop made famous by the 2010 TLC reality show Little Chocolatiers, told City Weekly that they may be forced to close their doors. Owners Katie Masterson and Stephen Hatch say that overwhelming reconstruction costs at their new location (376 Eighth Avenue) combined with slow revenues from this summer have left them at risk of foreclosure unless they raise an estimated $150,000 by Jan. 1, 2014.
"We were hoping the revenue would match our loan payments. It was just that crunch from last summer that really set us back. We just had a slow year," Masterson says. "At this point, we are really open to any ideas. We put out hearts into this and we really hate to see this go."
Over the years, Hatch Family Chocolates has become a community hub for the Avenues neighborhood, hosting family-friendly activities like Monday-night movies, local music and magic acts, festivals and birthday parties. "We have been doing a lot of fun things that show promise, and yet there are a lot things we still want to accomplish," Masterson says.
The owners are looking for potential investors or any creative ideas from the public to help keep the store open. "It's hard to ask the community, but someone out there might have a great idea that we're not utilizing," Masterson says. "I hate asking and we're not looking for handouts, but at the same time, our supporters have been so great to us. Without them we wouldn't be here."
Because most of us don't have $150,000 under the mattress, and a Kickstarter program would likely revolve around buying chocolate anyway, we crunched the numbers to figure out how easy it might be to save one of Salt Lake City's best sweet shops.
So, Hatch Family Chocolates could easily reach their goal of $150,000 by January if:
Or the roughly 75,000 people who went to this year's Salt Lake Comic-Con each bought a dark-chocolate-covered marzipan for less than $2.
Or the 377,700 people in Utah who didn't have health care in 2012 formed groups of 13 and everyone threw in 39 cents; each group could split one $8.50 caramel chocolate apple.
Or the 5,600 people who used UTA's vanpool program (in the first quarter of 2013) each bought a box of Grandma's Turtles (four to a box) for $24.99.
Or Sen. Mike Lee's 69,090 Twitter followers each bought two small peanut-butter truffles (average by weight for $1.60).
Or the 26,505 people who live in Magna (according to 2010 U.S. Census) each bought a 12-ounce hot chocolate for $5.45.
Or the 15,614 people who gave Lindsey Stirling's "Crystalize" video a thumbs down on YouTube each bought a six-piece box of assorted milk chocolates for $10.
Or if you've never tasted the delicious treats at the 2012 City Weekly Best of Utah award-winning chocolate shop, perhaps it's time you finally discover for yourself what all the fuss is about. To keep up with everything happening at Hatch Family Chocolates, check out their website, or follow them on Facebook.