Some of you asked for pictures of the chocolate-making process for your rewards. We didn't find a professional camera person, but my brother David and mother Laura (you can call her Ducky) took pictures yesterday. We're still a few days away from receiving our professional tempering machine, so the chocolate is still being made and tempered the old fashioned way - with muscle!.
You'll also notice that the finished chocolates don't have tags yet. This is because our professional tags are still being produced, and are due to arrive next Tuesday. I've attached a photo of our tag design so you can have an idea of what that looks like too. Piece by piece, it's all coming together so nicely (with special thanks to my mother Laura - she's the chocolatier in uniform - and friend and chocolatier Leslie!)
15 days after a crazy and inspiring end to our Placebo Chocolate Project campaign, I'm excited to share a number of fun updates with you:
- We are now sourcing our organic, fair-trade chocolate from Colombia through Cordillera Chocolate. It was a nice twist of fate that put me in touch with Norman, the founder of Cordillera. A chocolatier friend of mine promised that Cordillera's chocolate was the BEST CHOCOLATE EVER, and wished that she could use the chocolate for her business - she couldn't because it could only be ordered in larger quantities. A few minutes later, Norman and I were on the phone, and a few days after that we had chocolate at our doorstep. Cordillera goes beyond organic - using no pesticides in any part of their business, and far beyond fair-trade - paying farmers 150% of what fair-trade asks business to pay, while also giving the funds three years before the cacao is ready and providing tools that farmers need (including, in one case, a fire-truck).
- We've just tallied our surveys depicting what size chocolate bars you prefer, and whether you prefer dark or white chocolate. The results surprised me :) While most of the world prefers milk chocolate twice as much as dark chocolate, YOU prefer dark chocolate 63% to 37%. And even though during the campaign, we only featured our 1 lb. organic, fair-trade chocolate bars, when it came time to choose your rewards, you wanted 4 ounce chocolate bars more than anything - 73 of you asked for 4 ounce JOY chocolate bars, 45 asked for 8 ounce LOVE chocolate bars, and just 22 asked for the huge 1 lb. INSPIRE chocolate bars. It was last minutes calls with some of you that gave us the idea to offer chocolates at different sizes, and I'm glad those of you who convinced me were right. A lot of people will benefit from your feedback!
- We are still in the process of learning to make perfect chocolate. We made our first chocolate bars without tempering (tempering is the process of heating and cooling chocolate at very exact temperatures to allow the chocolate to look glazed and keep for up to 18 months), and they didn't look so good. They weren't shiny and we saw white streaks on them after a few days. So we took a tempering class from Leslie, a good friend, Placebo Chocolate Project contributor, and fellow chocolatier (see her amazing Le Marias truffles here!). She helped us create the perfect tempering process - and our last few chocolates have looked great. But then we had a new problem: each pound of chocolate took about an hour to make. So today we bought a professional tempering machine - which allows us to automate the process of making perfect, long-lasting, shiny looking chocolate bars (~ 6 lbs. of chocolate an hour without the hard labor and perfect every time!). The professional tempering machine will show up at our doorstep in one to two weeks. Until then, we'll try to get out as many chocolates using the manual process as possible!
- Almost one third of you signed up for group Skype calls that will help us to together build an inspiring direction for the organization. This week I'll be sending you times that you can sign up for the calls. At a maximum, we'll have 8 people per call. I'm so excited to continue collaborating as we build this wonderful organization together, and I know our calls will be super-inspiring. If any of you who didn't sign up for the calls wants to participate, just write to me at email@example.com.
Thanks to all of your love, inspiration, and support, things are moving along nicely. We're so excited, now, to deliver you the most amazing and meaningful chocolates you've ever tasted, and then to take the next steps in growing this special organization together.
Warmest regards, Danny & the Placebo Chocolate Project team
PS A few of you have asked me this question, so I'll add the answer here: If you want additional chocolate to go out with your rewards, feel free to order more at placeboeffect.com and just write a note on the order form to let us know to ship the chocolate with your existing rewards!
Dear Team (yes, we're a team!),
I'm writing to you from Gate 4 of the San Francisco airport. I haven't had much sleep, and I'm facing the prospect - thanks to flights schedules and delays - of a 52 hour travel return to Peru from the United States. Yet I couldn't be happier. Thanks to 195 of us, tonight we officially raised $12,300 for our Placebo Chocolate Project!
What I want to do is tell you all stories about you. I want to tell you about David and Joni - two US soldiers who didn't know me or anyone else associated with the Placebo Chocolate Project, but who decided that the most important thing in the world was that our project get funded. So they made a huge contribution and would have shouldered even more - at the expense of food on the table or a dress for the Army ball - if I hadn't pleaded with them to trust that more community would come. And I want to tell you about Brooks and Jeff. Two successful businessmen who I reached out to when I was just twenty-two. Their love, support, and mentorship over the last eight years - years of in-the-trenches learning - has been constant and, as usual, poured into this project too. And I want to tell you about my Mom. Sometimes we get lucky in this world and inherit a Mom who just gets it. I got one of those.
I want so much to tell 190 more stories. Just a few sentences about each of you. Even the many of you I don't yet know. Like Lee - the angel who fell out of the sky with two hours to go before our project deadline and brought the Placebo Chocolate Project through the finish line. I don't know Lee. And nobody I know knows Lee (that I know of). But that's what makes this project so special. It lives tonight because 195 community members - who all had their own reasons - joined together and decided we cared enough about a vision that we would choose to let it live. You are that community. You are who I want to honor. Even if I am not telling your story now, please know that I want to.
The final funding amount was $12,300. There's something special about that number. 1, 2, 3 to infiniti (the two zeroes together creating the infiniti sign). 1, 2, 3 represents our humble step-by-step origins and continued practice. Infini represents our potential. Our possibility. The Placebo Chocolate Project - now that we've chosen to let it live - can be whatever we choose it to be. Over the next few weeks and months I'm excited to hear from you and learn how you think we can grow and touch people's lives. I'm excited to deliver to you chocolates that fill you or someone you care about with love, joy, and inspiration. And I'm excited to keep walking with you through the next part of our wonderful journey together.
Congratulations. We did it!
For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Our love and gratitude - every dollar counts!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
INTRO PACKAGE: A Facebook and Twitter shout out + a fun, limited edition Placebo Chocolate Project PDF storybook about how we can use chocolate to change the world. (the storybook is included in all packages over $10!)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
INSPIRE PACKAGE: One of our very first Placebo chocolate bars (US shipping included). We will be rolling a different bar out each week beginning when the Kickstarter fundraiser ends, and you can choose ANY of them - examples of designs can be found in the main text!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
LOVE PACKAGE: TWO one-pound inspirational chocolate bars (US shipping included) + join us on our first founding team member call and help us create the direction and inspiration for the Placebo Chocolate Project as we grow and move forward + mention on our website as a Founding Team Member!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
JOY PACKAGE: THREE one-pound inspirational chocolate bars (US shipping included) + join us on three quarterly founding team Skype calls to help determine the direction of the Placebo Chocolate Project for the rest of 2012 + mention on website as Founding Team Member.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
GOLD PACKAGE: Delivery of your favorite Placebo chocolate bar every month for SIX months (US shipping included) + access to all team Skype calls + personal 30-minute call with creator Danny + mention on our website as a Gold Founding Team Member.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
PLATINUM PACKAGE: Delivery of your preferred Placebo chocolate bar every month for ONE YEAR (US shipping included) + access to all team Skype calls + TWO personal 30-minute call with creator Danny + mention on our website as a Platinum Founding Team Member.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
CONFLICT-FREE DIAMOND PACKAGE: Delivery of your preferred Placebo chocolate bar every month for TWO YEARS (US shipping included) + access to all team Skype calls + TWO personal calls with creator Danny + 5 ornamental chocolate molds + mention on our website as a Conflict-Free Diamond Founding Team Member.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
FINANCIAL SPONSOR PACKAGE: Everything in the previous package + lunch or dinner with Placebo Effect founder Danny Jacobs (depending on geographical constraints we may have to do a long Skype meeting) + shared financial information for the organization each quarter.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
FINANCIAL ADVISORY PACKAGE: Everything in the previous package + invitation to quarterly advisory meetings to review the financial health of the organization, and provide advice that can help us make strong core values-based decisions to ensure that the Placebo Chocolate Project stays financially healthy as we use chocolate to inspire love and joy all over the world!Estimated delivery:
- (40 days)