Questions and Answers

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1Q. Who is Capitol Chocolate Fountains?
A. Capitol Chocolate Fountains is owned and operated by Regie and Melissa Guzman. We are the founders of the company which was established in 2003. We are licensed and insured. We are not a franchise and have worked hard to maintain a level of excellence with every aspect of our business. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we have seen many home-based chocolate fountain companies come and go. Chocolate Fountains are all we do. This is not a weekend, part-time venture for us. Our quality and service are what sets us apart from all others.
2Q. Do you have an office where I can meet and talk with you?
A. Yes. We are located in Manassas off the 234 Bypass. Our address is 11510 Robertson Drive. We meet with clients by appointment only. Call us at (703) 369-7378 to set up an appointment or arrange for a tasting.
3Q. How do you clean your fountains?
A. Unlike home-based and smaller fountain companies, we have an office location with a high temperature commercial washing system; the CMA Dishmachines model CMA-180. We begin by rinsing the fountains in our 3 compartment sink and follow with a cycle in the CMA 180 which washes then sanitizes.
4Q. Why is this important?
A. Proper cleaning is essential. Home-based fountain rental companies often rely on their home dishwasher to clean their fountains. The fountain tops will not fit adequately in a home dishwasher nor will they provide the water temperature (155°F) to sanitize and remove bacteria. Manufacturers state low water temperatures don’t provide enough heat to clean dishes properly. Our CMA 180 washes at 155°F-160°F and rinses at 180°F-195°F. You can be certain the fountain you rent from us is properly cleaned.
5Q. Why does your chocolate taste so much better than other chocolate I’ve tasted?
A. Because we use a superior chocolate! Ours is an imported Belgian chocolate. We don’t purchase our chocolate from retail stores, box stores or from the internet. Our chocolate does not come in individual pouches but in cases of 22, 30 and 50 lbs. While other companies use domestic chocolate for their clients, we prefer imported Belgian chocolate for ours.
6Q. Isn’t it more expensive to use this chocolate?
A. Yes, it is. It is important to us that our customers have the best quality chocolate available. We operate on a small margin compared to other companies that use an inferior chocolate thereby lowering their cost. Be sure to ask if the fountain company you are considering using offers an imported Belgian chocolate at no additional charge with their fountains.
7Q. Is your imported Belgian chocolate an additional charge?
A. NO! We offer milk, semi sweet and white imported Belgian chocolate standard with all of our fountains.
8 Q. Does your chocolate require the addition of oil, cocoa butter, powders, or any other additive to flow smoothly in your fountains?
A. NO! Our chocolate is made specifically for use in chocolate fountains and does not require the addition of anything to flow smoothly.
9Q. Is your chocolate kosher?
A. Yes. All our chocolate is certified Kosher Dairy. We can provide Kosher Pareve chocolate if requested. Kosher certificates are available upon request.
10Q. How much chocolate do you provide with each fountain?
A. Small – 10 lbs. Medium – 20 lbs. Intermediate – 25 lbs. Large – 30 lbs. We believe you should know how much chocolate is included with your fountain! When comparing fountain companies be sure to ask exactly how much chocolate they include. Some don’t mention this at all while others mention they include “enough” for the number of guests expected. Additional chocolate, if necessary, may be purchased and added to the fountain.
11Q. Do you sell your chocolate for my home-model fountain?
A. Yes! After many requests we have begun a separate division dedicated to the sale of our premium imported Belgian chocolate. Appropriately named, We Sell Chocolate, our fountain ready Belgian Callebaut Milk and Semi Sweet chocolate is available for purchase. Please visit our website www.WeSellChocolate.com for product information and prices.
12Q. Who provides the dipping items?
A. There are several possibilities. If you are working with a hotel, caterer or event site, they generally will provide them. Some locations will allow us to provide dipping items and others will not due to liability issues. Some places will allow you to bring your own dipping items. In any event, please check with your hotel, caterer, event site or planner to determine which option will work best for you.
13Q. What is a drip guard and how does it improve my fountain experience?
A. A drip guard, made of food grade stainless steel, attaches to the base of the fountain. It extends the drip area 3 ¾ inches making a nicer presentation and shortening the distance from a dipped item to the plate. We include a drip guard with all our fountains at no additional charge. Be sure to ask if the fountain company you are considering using offers a free drip guard.
14Q. How are your attendants attired?
A. Our attendants are attired professionally. They wear tuxedo shirts, bow tie, vest and/or jacket and black pants. While other companies dress in polo shirts and/or aprons for their clients, we prefer a more polished presentation for ours. If the client requests, our attendants can dress more casually to blend in with a particular theme.
15Q. How many fountain sizes do you offer?
A. We currently offer 4 different fountain sizes. Additional sizes may be planned in the near future. Please refer to our Rentals and Services page for specific information about each size.
16Q. How long does the fountain run at an event?
A. Up to 3 hours of continuous running time is included. This is plenty of time for your guests to indulge in our delicious Belgian chocolate. If necessary, additional running time may be added for an additional charge.
17Q. What is required to secure a chocolate fountain for my event?
A. A signed contract and a 50% deposit. The balance is due 14 days prior to your event date.
18Q. What types of payment do you accept?
A. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, cash or personal check.
19Q. What are the power requirements for a chocolate fountain?
A. A standard 120 volt grounded outlet is required for the fountain. If other items such as smoothie machines, cappuccino machines, spotlights, speakers, etc. are in use, you will want to have a dedicated power source for the fountain so that circuits are not overloaded.
20Q. Do I need a special table for the fountain?
A. We require a strong sturdy table capable of holding 100 lbs. Folding card tables are not recommended. In addition, our experience has shown that a round table may look nice but a rectangular table is preferred. Guests can pick up their plate, select their dipping items as they pass by and proceed to the fountain. This process eliminates congestion and allows each guest access to all dipping items.
21Q. Can I use the fountain outdoors?
A. No. We don’t recommend it for several reasons. Main concerns are flying bugs, wind, outdoor temperature and chocolate temperature. For those having receptions or parties under a tent, we require the tent have sides which are lowered and a temperature that will remain consistent throughout the event.
22Q. Do you offer special discounts at bridal shows or other events?
A. No. We believe in offering every client the best value possible. That means offering consistent pricing to everyone. Imagine how you would feel if you found out that a friend paid less than you did. We want all of our clients to be treated equally and fairly.
23Q. What areas do you serve?
A. We serve the greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. We will travel outside the area (Annapolis, Baltimore, Frederick, MD as well as Fredericksburg, Warrenton, Culpepper, VA) for a small travel fee.
24Q. Do you have any tips for a smoother experience with the fountain?
A. Yes, we have several. Always have plenty of plates, napkins and skewers. Make sure they are used. Use one skewer per item. Making a kabob with several items is not suggested. Don’t touch the food items to be dipped in the fountain with your fingers. It’s unsanitary and another reason to only have one item per skewer. Stay away from dipping items that crumble. This includes: pound cake, angel food cake, brownies, cheesecake bites, etc. Keep the skewer level and avoid pointing the dipping item downward. This will prevent items from falling into the chocolate. If an item falls into the chocolate, don’t try to retrieve it. Simply get another one. Our attendant will remove the fallen item. Always help small children with the fountain. Over-consumption of tasty adult beverages and chocolate are not always a great combination. Know when to say when.
25Q. Why do some people say that chocolate fountains are messy and disgusting and they would never have one at their special event?
A. While this may seem a silly question, we hear and read comments like this quite often and would like to share our thoughts, comments and experiences. Today with several manufacturers of commercial fountains, the price of purchasing one has decreased. This has resulted in caterers, hotels, event sites, et al purchasing their own. What wasn’t taken into consideration was ensuring they used the best chocolate, provided staffing, proper cleaning and maintenance of their fountain. They typically don’t have a dedicated attendant that remains with the fountain. Our attendants are dedicated to remaining with the fountain and assisting guests for the duration of the running time. This is their sole responsibility – not setting up buffets, serving cake, cleaning tables, bartending, etc. Don’t misunderstand, we work with many caterers, hotels, etc. and value our relationship with them. Those that work with us know our dedication to ensuring our fountains are used properly. Maintaining a clean fountain is important. Our attendants make sure any items dropped into the fountain are removed promptly. They make sure that guests use a plate when removing dipped items so that a trail of chocolate does not result. The inclusion of a drip guard is also helpful. Our attendants prevent double-dipping and ensure no fingers, cups, tongues, etc. make their way into the chocolate. Some large rental-type businesses have chocolate fountains available for rent. In our opinion, this is not a do-it-yourself operation. Trust professionals to do the job correctly. Don’t try to use a home-model fountain for wedding receptions or other large gatherings. We want you and your guests to have fun and create a wonderful memory which included a chocolate fountain and not have a messy chocolate fountain be your memory. Chocolate fountains are not messy. Once you’re experienced a fountain provided by Capitol Chocolate Fountains you’ll know what makes us the best!