What are the shells made of ? My collections of seashells are made of a Belgian couverture white chocolate and I add my very own special touches that have been describe as "the best white chocolate I have ever tasted..." Any of the shells can also be made of a sugar paste dough similar to that of marzipan. The sugarpaste shells are by request only . Simply the white chocolate shells just taste so great... compared to the sugar shells. The sugarpaste shells are usually requested for overseas shipping when heat vs time vs shipping cost are a concern (see shipping overseas info)
When should I place my order? When ever you are ready to check it off your list I have orders on file that will not be created or shipped for as much as 4 months away. Keeping in mind that ALL my shells are made fresh to order and Iwill ship on a requested week, if you want to order early. I require as little as 2 weeks prior to your wedding date or departure date. I have been know to receive phone call from a panicked "mom" stating "we just found your site we have just got to have your shells for my daughter's wedding cake"..........and I have said yes and rush an order thru in less than a week, BUT I have also had to say NO. I am a small business just my mom (yanked out of retirement) and myself. Mom helps me during busier wedding months with all my chocolates, but it is only me when it comes to my cakes/decorating and sometimes we just can not accept even a cupcake. So if it is last minute you can always ask but I can not promise what the answer will be.
I will be happy to answer your ???s and add it to my list.
When would you make my seashells? I never have shells just sitting around waiting for an order ALL my seashells are created fresh to order and I work on my seashells on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays also shipping on Wednesdays with the exceptions of overseas orders. Shelf life and chocolate are not friends and it makes all the difference in the taste of your shells. For a typical Saturday wedding I would be creating your seashells apx 11-12 days prior to your event and YES they will be wonderfully fresh for your wedding day.
When would you ship my seashells & when would I receive my seashells? I ship on Mon-Wed only apx 5-7 days after you place your order. Standard shipping is priority with delivery being 1-3 days after shipped. All my chocolates are shipped in a foam insulated box with a frozen ice pack. This is no problem in the months of October-April extending into Sept & May in northern states. In May-Sept I recommend considering the Express Mail option. EXPRESS MAIL.. guaranteed 1-2 delivery and with Express Mail these packages are not normally sent out on the regular delivery routes they are taken by one carrier as special deliveries. And I DO REQUIRE A SIGNATURE - this is ONLY way I will guarantee against melting... You just can not be certain on how conditions will change once the package is left and when you arrive. I HAVE NEVER HAD A SINGLE SHELL MELT DURING WARM WEATHER SHIPPING...... AND I GUARANTEE NO MELTING as long as we ship US Express Mail w/signature required.
To order or check collections and the prices please visit our Etsy storefront thru the link button below.. If you do not see what you want please ask
How do you ship my seashells? The shells sealed in cello bags are wrapped in layers of tissue and snuggled into a sea of foam peanuts and packed into a thick stryofoam cooler along with a frozen gel pack in a white box marked with "Fragile" & "Perishable". (sorry another repeat) I have tried all the shippers and my preference is the good ole' US Postal Service....."don't twitch" hear my reasonings.... UPS & FED EX are wonderful but the 2 draw backs are I have no local drop offs which means they would pick up my orders from my shop, keep them on their trucks (no A/C) for hours then off to their warehouses (NO A/C) not to mention shipping charges vary based on each box vs destination. Whereas with the US Postal Service, I hand deliver my orders directly to my local air conditioned post office just prior to their pick ups where it goes on their air conditioned trucks to their air condition terminals (after all they are federal employees- I can say that many have become my personal friends and I say this with love) and then this is repeated on your end. And keeping it simply with the shipping cost they charge the same price shipping 80 miles away to Jacksonville as they do to Los Angeles or the US Virgin Islands so there is no need to calculate shipping cost....... collection #1 is the same to any US Postal address etc... I ship ONLY EXPRESS MAIL.. guaranteed 1-2 delivery and with Express Mail these packages are not normally sent out on the regular delivery routes they are taken by one carrier as special deliveries. And I DO REQUIRE A SIGNATURE - this is ONLY way I will guarantee against melting... You just can not be certain on how conditions will change once the package is left and when you arrive. Having said all this I want to also say I HAVE NEVER HAD A SINGLE SHELL MELT DURING SHIPPING...... AND I GUARANTEE NO MELTING as long as we ship US Express Mail w/signature required.
Do I really need to sign for my order? Not for priority only with Express. It is the only way I will quarantee "No Melting" the postal carriers as hard as they are may try to leave the "perishable" marked box in a shady area have no way of know when the sun will move around or when you may be home to rescue the box.. Yes, I can remove the request for signature but it will waive the "no melt" quarantee
Do you ship cakes? SIMPLY .....NO.....
Can I order less shells than offered in collections? If I do not have what you are looking for please either keep checking as I will be adding more all the time or send me a request, giving me as much detail as possible and I will see what I can come up with for you...
Will you deliver a seashell cake to...............? That's not so easy to answer.... I have personally delivered seashell cakes to Amelia Island, Pointe Verde, St Augustine, Steinhatchee, Cedar Key, Crystal River etc... but due to travel time and expenses there is a minimum in size of cake and charges. This is considered on an individual basis, please email me with wedding date, location, reception time and apx number of quest plus a cake style if you have an idea of which one.
Can you ship my shells directly to my baker or resort? Yes I have can ship to any US postal address, directly to your baker, caterer or banquet manager. I ship to many private bakers as well as many many Publix's bakeries around Florida and other southern states. I always mark the box with your name and wedding date both on the outside & the inside of the shipping boxes and coolers.
Can you ship to Canada, Puerto Rico, Bahamas or other overseas spots? YES.. I have shipped both my chocolate seashells and my sugarpaste seashells to different islands and countries..... each one has it's own requirements and restrictions. Actually places like Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam and other US Postal serviced areas are not treated any differently than a continental destination here in the US so there are no additional charges..... I usually ship the chocolate shells by USPS Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) this is a guaranteed 2-3 day delivery and I have never had a problem with this type of delivery shells arrived beautifully however it can get a little expensive it can cost apx $50-$90 more than normal collection price depending on collections. Sometimes it is best to ship to a US local address and carry as a carry on luggage to avoid the cost. I can ship the sugarpaste seashells by USPS Global Priority which is generally 5-7 days and more reasonably priced. The Global shipping ends up in the hands of the FED EX company but for some reason it is more reasonable to ship by USPS to begin with. PLEASE SEND ME YOUR SHIPPING CITY/COUNTRY AND SHIPPING CODES AND WHICH COLLECTION # YOU ARE CONSIDERING & I WILL QOUTE ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS?
How do I travel with my seashells to my destination? The best way is to keep your shells safe is in their shipping cooler, it is a thick well insulated Styrofoam cooler and helps protect the shells from heat and bumps. Collections #1,2 & #4 are all small enough to take as a carry on luggage and if you are considering the larger collection #3 or a lot of favors just let me know that you need to take as a carry on luggage and I will ship in multiple coolers so the size will not be a concern. And you probably have a great deal of other things to take with you so I might recommend you consider "delegating" your seashells to a trusting friend or family member that will be traveling over. If you are traveling with in the US then let me ship direct to the resort or baker.
Where do I store my shells untill I need to use them? NEVER IN THE FRIG!! a frig may have a great deal of humidity and could cause moisture buildup in bags... If for some reason you have requested your shells arrive more than 4 weeks prior to using them you can keep them in the freezer, allowing them to come to room temperature before opening bags... OTHERWISE... simply keep them in their shipping cooler and keep them in a comfy room temperature away from sunny windows or any time of heat sources.
How many shells to I need for my cake? My collections are based on a "healthy" amount of shells for the suggested size cakes, please take this into consideration if you prefer a lighter concentration of shells on your cake then go to the next smaller collection, if you are separating your cakes and want shells on the top of each cake then you should consider the next larger collection.....Shells in collections range from a 6" conch to 1/2" mixed shells, including 3" clam shells, 2"-3" spindles & whelks, 3" starfish, 2" sandollars etc... Quantities depend on collections. Collections 1-3 are the best buys. If working with a smaller cake consider using some of the shells on your cake and the rest for party favors. Otherwise, now, I do offer Collection 4 for smaller cakes. I hand selected the shells in each collection for the sizes of cakes recommended based on what I would want to see on the cakes that I would create for you if you were my bride, many molds are one of a kind, I also take the time to hand trim and paint the shells as needed for the look you want, you are purchasing a collection of "Sugar Art" not just bulk molded chocolate,
Shell Collection 75: suggested for 3 tiered cakes serving 65-85 includes minimum of 75 shells in various sizes and shapes plus 12 sugar pearls in various sizes.
Shell Collection 115: 3-4 tiered cakes serving 95-125 includes minimum of 115 shells in various sizes and shapes plus 12 sugar pearls in various sizes
Shell Collection 175: 3-5 tiered cake serving 150-180 includes minimum of 175 shells in various sizes and shapes plus 20 sugar pearls in various sizes
Shell Collection 40: for the smaller 2 tiered cake or sheet cakes includes minimum of 40 shells in various sizes and shapes plus 6 sugar pearls in various
Who would put my shells on my cake? Most bakers do not have a problem placing the seashells on their cake, it is a great way to make a simple cake into something unique & beautiful and they love being able to add a new look to their portfolio. Some bakers will not, but will be happy to give you a container of their buttercream icing so that you can "sweetly glue" the shells in place on the cake. Again a creative friend or family member just waiting for something to do.. or your caterer, wedding planner or florist have even completed the look and I have one story that the bride sent to me that her husband-to-be, her daughter and herself sat that morning taking turns selecting their favorite shell one at a time placing in on their cake.... she replied "it was just one more wonderful memory for their wonderful day in becoming a family"
Some bakers are concerned about whether I am a "legal, licensed, certified & insured" commercial kitchen..... and Yes I am and would be happy to forward any information that your baker or resort would require....this does not happen often but I have had the request and I really do not mind... since they are responsiable for your final cake it is a concern that they should have.
How do I apply my seashells to my cake? If you or a family member will be appling to the shells to your cake the simpliest way would be with a disposable bag of buttercream icing with a small hole (apx 1/4"- you can always make it larger) or a bowl of buttercream and a butter knife- buttering on, then apply to the back of a shell, placing larger shells on first then layering shells outward to obtain the look you want. Do not be afraid to stack shells on shells they are easy to "reglue" if they come loose, I would recommend purchasing a small cheap kid's aritist paint brush and when you press the shells on and the extra buttercream oozes out simply use the brush to wipe away..
How would I make the coral? I wish that I could ship my coral but it has never work.... My coral IS ONLY AVAILABLE with my seashell collections. In your collection of shells I include a paper coral template along with instructions and the recipe for royal icing (the gingerbread house icing that gets really hard) or your can purchase a bag of royal icing with a disposable pastry bag-just add water- to make your coral..
Do you know of a baker in my area to refer? I have worked with several bakers both around the country and on several islands, I will do my best to have a cake maker to refer to you. As well as I am always looking for a baker/decorator so if you know of someone that you have found, with their permission please send me their contact info...
Do the sugar flowers come with the seashells? The sugar flowers are not included with the shells, many brides do not want flowers and others might want to use fresh or silk flowers.. BUT the sugar flowers are available keep watching my website for a page of flowers untill then PLEASE just ask. Flowers range from $4-$8 for single flowers and $15-$75 for sprays.