Friday, June 8, 2007

Chocotelegram and Chocolate Dispatch

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17th so I thought I’d throw something out there for the chocolate lovin’ fathers of America.

I had the opportunity this week to try two different personalized chocolate message services. They’re both great, if a little expensive for shipping because of the heat in summer months. But the originality can’t be beat. It’s like an edible greeting card.

First up is Chocotelegram. Based in Toronto, Chocotelegram was actually founded in Europe. You can order from their pre-fab messages or have them typeset your message using their letter picker. You can even decorate the blank spaces with icons (stars, smileys, trees, hearts & clovers).

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The chocolate is made by Barry Calebaut. Each little square is about a third of an ounce, making a whole tray of 21 squares about 7 ounces. I only tried the milk and found it very creamy, if a little sweet, but super-smooth and satisfying. The package sent, as shown, is only $17 plus shipping. There are lots of options on their website, including an upgraded box and larger letter arrays. I really liked the molding on the letters, it was crisp, attractive and legible.

The second company that contacted me last week was ABChocolates that makes the Chocolate Dispatch. The Dispatch has a wonderful design flair, from the exterior packaging (wrapped in some corrugated paper with a seal) down to the sassy wooden box with the message printed right on the front in true telegram style. Even when the chocolate is gone, the message lives on.

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Under the sliding top the chocolates are held firmly in place with foam underneath and some waxed paper filler on top. Pull that off and you get a personalized chocolate message. Each letter weighs a little less than a third of an ounce giving the box of 32 a net weight of 9.5-10 ounces . The letters are a little more homespun feeling than Chocotelegram’s. They’re a combination of white chocolate letters on a dark or milk chocolate square. The white is, you know, white chocolate. The milk is nice, creamy and not too sweet with a strong milky component. The dark is good, if a little grainy sometimes (but only as a counterpoint to the silkier/stickier milk chocolate).

While Chocolate Dispatch only comes in two sizes, they offer a lot of customized options with different labels on the front (Birthday Dispatch, Get Well Dispatch, Valentine Dispatch, etc.) which would mean that you could send out several of these over the course of the year and the boxes would all be keepsakes.

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There’s a breakdown listed below. I liked both of the products a lot, though I don’t know that many people that I’d send something like this to. (Here’s a hint though, if you’re doing a wedding, see if you can do initials. “C & M” in little three character boxes, that’d be so cute!) Chocotelegram had the best tasting chocolate, but I really liked the box and whole top-to-bottom design aesthetic of Chocolate Dispatch. If you’re a mom helping your kid pick out their gift to dad, the letter-picking interface is a fun experience all on its own. (Chocotelegram has one too, but it’s just not quite as enjoyable.)

I give both services a solid 7 out of 10.

Service Chocotelegram Chocolate Dispatch
Price (as shown) $17.00 - 21 character ($36 with 30 characters in wooden box) $32.00 - 32 characters
Shipping $18.54 second day, $39.63 overnight (UPS) $18.00 second day (UPS)
Chocolate Barry Calebaut Chocolate Asher's
Pros Consistent looking letters, alternate characters (smileys, stars), standard messages, tasty chocolate, large variety of sizes & options, more lower-priced options Keepsake wooden message box, alternate characters, standard messages, Kosher, great Flash preview interface, really good packaging
Cons Packaging feels a little sterile (wooden box available), no nutrition info, no mixing milk & dark, nut status unknown Letters can be a little uneven, always white letters plus milk/dark chocolate, no mixing milk & dark, dark chocolate not that good, not nut free

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:34 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Is that a clever idea!!!  Sure wish I thought of that one.  They should do well.

    Comment by JILL Tropino on 6/10/07 at 3:09 am #
  2. All this chocolate is making me jealous of the other countries.  I’m going to have to move to Europe for a whole minute to taste all this food.

    Comment by Analia on 6/03/08 at 3:22 am #
  3. Question: does anyone know what happened to ABCChocolates? I ordered a chocolate gram from them and loved it.  I was hoping to send anther soon, but it loos like they may have gone under.  Any news would be great or suggestions for something similar with that homespun feel.

    Thanks!

    Comment by KitKat on 2/06/09 at 4:44 am #

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