When was the last time you took an opportunity for continuing education? As an owner of a business it is easy to ignore learning opportunities and get lost in the details as you scramble to complete daily tasks before the sun sets. It is easy to make the budget decision not to invest in education because something else is more important or pressing. However, the best investment you can make in yourself, your team and your business is education.

Education comes in all different formats: print; online resources and webinars; seminars and workshops; certifications and courses; and even in-person meetings such as an industry trade show.

The mission of Retail Confectioners International (RCI)  is to advance the confectionery industry by offering members the knowledge to build sweet businesses from entrepreneurial passion. With this in mind, RCI has a long history of being a valuable resource for small business owners both established and new to the industry. Through our member-only publicationKettle Talk, web resources, regional conferences, annual convention and expo, as well as education courses, we give confectioners the opportunity to take time out and focus on their knowledge of the industry while simultaneously learning from others.

This year, we are excited to continue to host education courses with the retail candy maker in mind. In February, we hosted our Chocolate Boot Camp course on the East Coast at Fascia’s Chocolates. 

Chocolate Boot Camp is a brief yet, comprehensive, hands-on course taught by industry experts. Sold out for the last five years, the course gives 25 veteran and newcomer students an opportunity to gain knowledge they can take back to their businesses. 

Our Merchandising Essentials course will be hosted at Winan’s Fine Chocolates + Coffees in Piqua, Ohio, this April 20-22. Many retail confectioners have great products and are looking for training on how to visually display products in their store.

Designed with the retail candy maker in mind, this course is aimed at equipping students with the tools needed to remain relevant and competitive.      

Students will learn how to create an effective promotion, build a consistent brand image, utilize visual display principles with their product display, assemble gift baskets, manage engaging social media content and more. 

And in autumn we will host Caramels, Toffees & Brittles on August 10-12 at Wockenfuss Candies in Baltimore, Md. This course will focus on the science behind making coveted caramels, toffees and even brittles. Topics covered include ingredients, processes, formulas and troubleshooting. Attendees will have hands-on experience and take home knowledge to add to their product lines or improve existing recipes. This will be a great course for your chocolatier to attend.

Don’t skip another year without investing in yourself and your business. Take advantage of the many industry-related events by attending a conference, sending an employee to one of the upcoming RCI education courses, joining RCI in Indianapolis or beautiful Vancouver and connecting with fellow candy makers. 

Upcoming RCI Events & Education Courses:

Merchandising Essentials

April 20-22, 2016

Winans Fine Chocolates + Coffees

Piqua, Ohio


Annual Convention & Industry Expo

June 20-24, 2016

The Westin Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Ind.


Caramels, Toffees & Brittles

August 10-12, 2016

Wockenfuss Candies,
Baltimore, Md.


Fall Regional Vancouver September 21-23, 2016

Hyatt Regency Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

For more information about upcoming RCI events, visit www.retailconfectioners.org/events.