My name is Lauren Adler, and I opened Chocolopolis in July 2008 to introduce chocolate lovers to chocolate made with fine flavor cacao from the best cacao-growing regions in the world. Our small retail store is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, a vibrant residential community just up the hill from Seattle’s Space Needle.
While we are a small, local store, there’s nothing small about our collection of artisan chocolate. We offer one of the largest, curated collections of craft chocolate – nearly 200 bars from 25 countries.
Each chocolate in our selection is chosen based on team tastings where we evaluate flavor profile, flavor complexity and texture. Our weekly chocolate happy hours, our tasting classes and our “Meet the Chocolate Maker” events bring chocolate lovers together to taste and learn.
We are renowned for our knowledge of artisan chocolate, and many chocolatiers and chocolate makers look to us for feedback when perfecting their chocolates. We’ve accomplished a lot in our first five years, but we need your help to move to the next step in our chocolate evolution.
Our passion for fine flavor cacao has led us to create our own chocolate bars and truffles in the small kitchen in the back of our store. We draw our inspiration from the world’s finest chocolatiers and the wonderful traditions of the world’s great cacao growing regions. Our chocolatiers craft each chocolate by hand using the finest all-natural ingredients, including local fruits, nuts and herbs when possible.
We focus on finding ingredients that are the perfect fit for each chocolate we make, resulting in a balanced and delicious chocolate experience.
Our Anise Ganache Fig is a wonderful example of our development process and how we perfect a product. For the fig, we specifically chose a black mission fig because it has a wonderful molasses note that pairs beautifully with the licorice notes of star anise and dark chocolate. Our fig won Best Confection at the 2011 Northwest Chocolate Festival, and it’s one of our best-selling chocolates.
Why do we need your help?
In the last year we have begun to sell our chocolates to specialty food stores. This has been a great opportunity for us, but it also comes with some challenges that we need your help to overcome. We are working on a redesign of our packaging and labeling to meet the specific packaging requirements of specialty retailers. We need to keep the specialty food retailers happy and make it easy for them to sell our chocolate. A packaging redesign also presents us with an opportunity to tell our story to customers who are not familiar with Chocolopolis. Packaging design, printing and production get expensive very quickly, and we don’t have the funds to pursue this without your help.
What will the money pay for?
Reaching our goal of $27,500 will allow us to:
- Develop & manufacture point-of-purchase (POP) display boxes required by the retailers to easily ship and display our chocolates
- Redesign the look of our labels to better tell our story to customers not familiar with Chocolopolis.
- Create packaging that is environmentally-friendly and easy to open
- Create & print labels that differentiate one flavor from another so customers can tell them apart on the shelf
- Purchase new chocolate bar molds that increase the dimensions of our chocolate bars so they can attract more attention on store shelves
- Create & manufacture recyclable plastic wrappers for our chocolate bars that fit the dimensions and show off the beauty of our chocolate
What’s a POP box and why do we need one?
When we ship our chocolate to specialty retailers, we send it in a case box with a minimum quantity. For example, our chocolate bars currently ship in a case of 12. When the specialty retailer receives our chocolates, they have to figure out how to display the chocolates on their shelves. Some of them have told us they are going to require us to provide a case box that can double as a display box. This is what is known as a point-of-purchase (POP) box. We need to design a POP box that perfectly fits a case of our bars when standing upright, and has a perforated edge to tear off the top of the box. We need to make it easy for the retailers to sell our chocolates, and we want to provide an eye-appealing display that shows off our beautiful and delicious chocolates.
Why such an ambitious goal for this project?
Packaging is very expensive, particularly custom-built boxes. In addition to design, there’s custom tooling and manufacturing, and there are also high minimum order quantities. We need to produce 1,000 of the custom POP display boxes, labels for 8 different flavors of chocolate bars with minimums of about 600 for each label and 10,000 custom plastic bags that fit the dimensions of our chocolate bars. These expenses add up quickly.
STRETCH GOAL: $35,000
We have a stretch goal of $35,000 that will allow us to redesign our website to share more information about our own chocolates with customers who can't make it to our store.
Our website is currently chock full of information about the artisan chocolate community, but it's admittedly hard to navigate. In addition to adding content about our own products, we'll improve navigation so that you'll be able to find all of the wonderful content that's already on our site.
Funds above our goal but below our stretch goal help us defray Kickstarter's fees and the costs of fulfilling rewards, allowing us to put more funds towards our packaging project.
Risks and challenges
Developing packaging is a detailed project that has a lot of moving parts. Each part of the process is dependent upon the one before it being completed first. If one of these parts is held up, it may slow down the timeline of the project. We’ve been in business for five years, and in that time we’ve proven ourselves to be incredibly reliable. Our customers have come to expect a high level of professionalism and customer service from us. We’re a team who researches every project we undertake in great detail, minimizing the number of hiccups and risks we face. We bring this same level of professionalism, reliability and planning to our Kickstarter project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)