Sarris Candies Avoids Major Meltdown with Comcast Business Class Ethernet

SWEET! Sarris Candies kept business running with Comcast Ethernet after its tragic fire in February.

Comcast Corporation, one of the nation’s leading providers of information and communications products and services, announced that Sarris Candies, a specialty chocolate and candies company based in Canonsburg, Pa., is using Comcast Business Class Ethernet services to expedite the transfer of company data and improve its overall customer experience. The company also recently experienced the benefits of Comcast’s service first-hand when its Internet connection remained intact even after a fire broke out at the candy store’s main headquarters in February, destroying approximately 50,000 pounds of chocolate.

Since 1963, Sarris Candies has been a staple in western Pennsylvania, providing chocolates, candies, ice cream, corporate gifts, and even wedding favors to local and national consumers and corporate customers alike. With more than 350 full-time workers and over 830 stores that depend on the company for daily deliveries, Sarris Candies relies extensively on its Internet service, requiring constant connectivity to support its credit card transactions, online ordering, customer information, fulfillment processing, shipping, and email communications.

“Prior to Comcast, we kept trying to increase our bandwidth – we even got to the point where we had three T1 lines installed to help us when sending our weekly store promotions to more than 150,000 of our customers, but we weren’t seeing any difference in our service,” said Norm Candelore, retail operations manager for Sarris Candies. “Our only option was to physically shut down our email servers simply to allow them to catch up to each other. In our industry, lost time translates to lost business, which we can’t afford to have.”

Comcast responded by providing two Ethernet Dedicated Internet lines to connect both the storefront and the warehouse to the Web. This came in handy on February 3, 2012, when a fire broke out in the early morning, causing large amounts of both smoke and water damage to the Sarris Candies storefront. Although the fire destroyed approximately a third of the company’s inventory, including over 50,000 pounds of chocolate, seasonal candy molds, and equipment right before Valentine’s Day and Easter, Sarris Candies remained connected to the Internet the entire time.

“We had smoke coming out of our windows and the fire department at our door, but our delivery trucks continued to run since we were still able to process our orders,” continued Candelore. “When the smoke had cleared, all of our internal cabling was destroyed, and our IT folks needed to rewire the entire store – but the actual service coming into our building with Comcast remained uninterrupted, and all we had to do was take our laptops and relocate down the block to the warehouse in order to continue operating as normal. It was truly amazing that we stayed connected. We really didn’t miss a beat, and if it wasn’t for the constant connectivity that we had with Comcast, I don’t even want to think about what might have happened.”

Sarris Candies was so pleased with its experience that it also plans to add Comcast voice service within the next few months. By combining advanced voicemail options with features such as unlimited local and long-distance calling, call forwarding, and caller ID, Comcast helps companies like Sarris Candies take advantage of the latest voice technologies.

“It’s nearly impossible to predict when a disaster situation will occur, but companies like Sarris Candies are finding that having the right technology in place ahead of time can greatly impact their response time in getting back up to speed once the dust clears,” said Glenn Lytle, regional vice president for Comcast Business Services. “The reliability of our Ethernet services can help businesses bounce back from an unexpected circumstance by providing a way to access their critical company data from a backup location if needed – and for Sarris Candies, that backup location was essential to keeping things running smoothly.”