I am so excited that I have reached my goal! I have stretch goals that I'm also excited about, especially #2, take a look!
STRETCH GOAL #1 - $8,000
Every backer $45 and over will get a box of S'mores bars! (The Big Vegan backers will get an extra sampler box of vegan chocolates in addition to the reward level they choose).
Born and raised in the Willamette Valley (Beaverton, Oregon to be specific) I left for New York City after high school. After studying architecture in college and working for a few years, I remembered all the things I loved about home, and came back. Before I left NYC I took a chocolate making class, and learned I had a second passion – candy making. I love architecture, and I plan to stay in the field, but I want something more hands-on, something with a faster turn-around than a building, and something yummier too! For now, Draft Chocolates is just a side job, but it gives me the opportunity to make what I love, share it with the world, and support my local community at the same time.
For me, local ingredients are important. I’m sure the French produce an amazing array of berries, but there is something special about the berries that are grown right around the corner. And not just berries. I want to use lots of local flavors, like berries and hazelnuts, local dairy products, things that come from the same place I did; ingredients that didn't travel long and hard to get to my work station. My dream is to locally source the ingredients, and locally sell them too, partnering with small business (I already have interest from 3 companies!) to sell my chocolates as well as setting up the occasional farmer's market stand. Draft Chocolates will also be available to the world online, providing a little slice of Willamette Valley in a scrumptious single bite of chocolate heaven.
This Kickstarter is to help me take a dream I had way back in Brooklyn in 2006, of starting a confections business, and build it into something successful, here where it all began – where I was born and raised. I need more (and better) equipment and access to a commercial kitchen to create larger batches of chocolate so I can share my passion and my chocolates with all of you. This Kickstarter will literally give me the chance to Kickstart a chocolate business by getting me the basic equipment I need to produce more chocolates at a time. The rewards will be my chance to learn to produce larger quantities and get me ready for starting my side business. Thanks for stopping in!
Most levels include a chance to vote in crowdsourced flavors, you may be asking yourself what that is exactly. I want to make sure that I give the people what they want! So I will survey for a list of flavors you prefer (you will be able to choose from a list or suggest your own). After a week of time to gather the preferred flavors, there will be a vote and the top 3 flavors will be developed and included in your reward boxes!
The Goal for my project is $6,000. With this money I will be able to purchase:
- A chocolate tempering machine which will help me produce faster and with better results. Then I can focus more on making what goes inside the truffles! Which is my favorite part of chocolate and candy making!
- Several polycarbonate molds, which will allow me to make more chocolates at a time. I will still make handrolled truffles but molds will allow me to have greater variety in shapes and filling options.
- The Insurance required for renting a commercial kitchen as well as time in a commercial kitchen for making the rewards.
- 45% of the goal amount is to cover rewards (ingredients, shipping and time in a commercial kitchen).
- 8% is to cover Kickstarter (5%) and Amazon (3%) fees.
Add on to your donation to get any of these bonus items to customize your reward!
For example if you wanted the 12 piece sampler box and a box of caramels you would pledge $40, select the $25 reward level and send me a note that you would like to add on the $15 reward! If you send me a message of what you want to add-on I can make a note and once the project is successful, I will send out a survey about add-ons.
- $5 3oz box of assorted caramels
- $10 (1/4) pound box of the top 3 crowd-sourced flavors chocolates
- $10 A Draft Chocolates mug (*new add-on! 10/26/2013*)
- $15 a bag of marshmallows
- $15 (1/2) pound box of assorted caramels
- $35 A Draft Chocolates mug with a small tin of hot chocolate mix and a bag of homemade marshmallow
- $60 A Draft Chocolates hoodie
International folks! International shipping is, unfortunately, crazy expensive. If you are super excited about how awesome my snail logo is and would like to give extra to cover shipping, please message me and we can figure out what the shipping costs will be. Caramels, marshmallows and hot chocolate mix can be sent internationally; unfortunately chocolates are too sensitive to ship reliably.
The chocolates will be packaged in reusable boxes, wrapped up in brown paper and tied up with string (these are a few of my favorite things!). The flavors enclosed will be a combination of things I enjoy making as well as the top crowdsourced flavors. Some potential flavors include: S'mores bars, peppermint patties, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Vanilla Bean, Dark Chocolate Orange, caramel filled chocolates... we are only limited by our collective imagination; I have a huge list of ideas of flavors which backers will get to help choose from and participating in the choosing of.
The vegan levels will be an assortment of chocolates, unfortunately most vegan truffles need to be refrigerated so that will limit the types of things I can create, but they will all still be delicious!
*Hot chocolate mix will be made with dairy free chocolate, so vegans can order this too and prepare it with their milk substitute of choice!
**EARLY BIRD DISCLAIMER**
Because this project is happening so close to the holidays, I wanted to make sure I could offer something that could be given as gifts however I don't think I will be ready in time with the commercial kitchen set up to be comfortable guaranteeing delivery in time for the holidays. My solution is that my early bird offerings will NOT be made in a commercial kitchen, they will be made at my mom's house (cause there won't be an adorable puppy running around, also the reason I cannot just do a cottage food license, but he's cute so it's ok). I will be using those reward levels to master my new equipment before I'm paying the hourly rate in a rented commercial kitchen! Practice makes perfect, so early bird levels will be my practice rounds!
**Allergen Note: All equipment is shared with dairy, nuts and gluten-y things.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge right now is time. As this is still only a side project production times could be longer than I would want and the closest rentable commercial kitchen is 45 minutes away so I mostly have weekends to work on my rewards. With the support from this Kickstarter the plan is to eventually build a whole business, which would eventually let me pull back to part time as an architect, and part time chocolatier. This Kickstarter is a two-fold experiment – to see if the public is interested in what I have to offer, and to see how I’m able to handle fulfilling the rewards on time. This is the push I need to start working with larger batches of chocolate (and provide recipients for all the chocolates I need to make to learn to use my new equipment!), and to learn any and all best practices for doing so. I am still learning and experimenting with recipes but that is not really a risk because I would never send out something that wasn't delicious! The risk is that they just may not be perfect.
As a team of one it takes time to make all these wonderful goodies. But I have the love of crafting chocolate and candy and the moral support of my best friend (she who took that first class with me, and is still back in Brooklyn), and with that I can accomplish anything! I even love wrapping and packaging each set of chocolates, designing packaging for future projects and developing my branding. But everything is a process, as I have only me, with the brainstorming of friends and family to get this whole project done!
Since I’m new to selling chocolates cross country, I’m also worried about the seasons, and how the chocolates will travel in warm weather. That’s why for this Kickstarter my goals are all anticipating shipment during winter. This allows me to offer some holiday rewards, and build up best practices for shipping before I start selling online!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)