Long Island City resident Milène Jardine has seen her chocolate kitchen, Milène Jardine Chocolatier, grow quickly since its creation in 2016. Now DoorDash has named her business to become part of their Accelerator for Local Goods program.
Jardine was chosen for DoorDash’s Accelerator for Local Goods over hundreds of other applicants. This DoorDash program is meant to support women, transgender people, immigrants and people of color by providing them resources, education and funding to produce and distribute their products via DashMart. As part of her recognition, Jardine’s business is receiving a $5,000 grant from DoorDash to support her business needs and access to marketing and sales support from DoorDash.
Prior to her career as a chocolatier, Jardine worked for Macy’s for 12 years, rising in the ranks to the role of product director. It was there that she gained a lot of experience about branding. After she was laid off from Macy’s, Jardine applied her branding and sales skills and love of cooking delicious treats toward the creation of her own small business chocolatier place. She recently started selling her products on DashMart.
“I’ve always loved baking,” Jardine said. “I’d often bake cookies and other sweets for parties I went to and people always loved them. I’ve always had fun working with my hands and creating things.”
According to Jardine, her business’s partnership with DoorDash has provided a lot of support as the company continues to grow. This included social media promotions and giveaways as well as strategic thinking.
Since founding the chocolate kitchen six years ago, Jardine has since been able to add more staff members. As of October 2022, Jardine says she has seven employees. These include five who help her make the treats in the kitchen, one to promote the business on social media and another who helps to organize in-person events.
According to Jardine, fresh ingredients are used and contain natural health benefits as well. For example, she likes to use hibiscus for many of her treats.
The DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods program includes a live and self-guided six-week course covering six topics. These include supply chain management, wholesale vendor relationship management, managing cash flow and business development. After the course’s conclusion, DoorDash commits to purchasing products from these entrepreneurs to sell through at least one DashMart location as another way to help bring these local businesses to market and connect them with more customers.