A Chocolate-of-the-Month Club
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because chocolate. Delivered directly to your door.
By Libby Coleman
These days you can get practically anything delivered to your door on a monthly basis, from sunglasses to wine to weed. Now chocolate lovers can rejoice: The addictive confection has also jumped on the subscription-box bandwagon.
Seattle-based service Chococurb caters to the connoisseur who enjoys finding chocolate treats on their doorstep every month. Each Tiffany-blue box, packed with tissue paper, holds five to seven pieces of chocolate — bars, confections, drinking cacao, caramels — from all over the world: homemade toffee from Oregon, salted nibs from Ecuador, bars from Seattle, Brooklyn, Italy or Vietnam. Chococurb picks the chocolates for each customer based on their preferences. When signing up, you are asked about allergies, fruit or nut aversions and preferences for dark, milk or white. “We make sure every box is catered to you,” says co-founder Kamran Amir Ali. The goal is to surprise customers every month. Along with the eating, there’s some light reading; every box comes with an informational insert about the chocolate brands. They’re also non-GMO, and most are organic and all natural.
Many of the chocolates are hard to find because they’re from small or local makers.
A one-month subscription is $35; three months costs $99. For those looking just to dabble, there are plans to launch a smaller monthly subscription ($20) before Christmas. The service is worthwhile, says Clay Gordon, author of Discover Chocolate — individual bars usually cost $7, plus shipping, on average. Presently, Chococurb works with just under 35 partner companies, many of which you’ve probably never heard of: Theo, Marou, Pacari. Which is the point. This type of service delivers “a wide range of chocolate you might never have considered before,” says Gordon. Many of the chocolates are hard to find because they’re from small or local makers, like ex-firefighter Michael Poole, of Seattle-based Hot Chocolat, Artisan Firehouse Chocolates — he’s not exactly working out of a Hershey’s factory. Chococurb’s vetting process is a chocoholic’s dream job: traveling to chocolate festivals in search of artisans, tasting samples. The goal is to have 50 chocolate companies on board by the end of the year.
Subscription chocolate boxes are a great way to learn more about chocolate, but they’re just a “start” to finding finer bars and what appeals to you, explains Eagranie Yuh, author of The Chocolate Tasting Kit. So if you already have a refined palate and seek out your sweet treats based upon their terroir, you might want to continue researching on your own. The monthly offerings might not be right for everyone, Gordon says. One man’s Valrhona can be another man’s Nestle.
Chococurb isn’t the only chocolate-of-the-month club in town. There’s Mystery Chocolate Box, which ships its bars with the outside wrappers removed, and Cococlectic and Cocoa Runners, which offer craft “bean to bar” subscriptions. Yuh says that Chococurb does differentiate itself by sending confections and not just bars.
We want to be the go-to place “for people for chocolate,” Amir Ali says. In a global candy and chocolate manufacturing market that’s worth $128 billion, according to IBISWorld, Chococurb has lofty goals. Still, having a box of chocolaty goodness delivered to your door each month? Sounds like a pretty sweet idea.