A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHOCOLATE BAR
After 12 years of making chocolate ganache truffles, we’ve identified a few flavors that tend to get big responses in the Pacific Northwest. Many of the ingredients are grown across the world but their flavors are familiar to this region. If you are familiar with the PNW, we encourage you to taste the chocolate and reflect on your own experiences. If you are unfamiliar, taste the chocolate and imagine what memories you might make here. Would you hike in the forests on the steep slopes of Mt. Rainer? Drink coffee in a café window and watch the rain? Kayak with friends and share a beer on the lake? These are the moments that inspired us.
(Note that the bean to bar chocolate label above is a placeholder for future endeavors! This project is for flavored bars only.)
Some of these flavors might be difficult to imagine, and that’s ok! Embrace it! That means you are going to taste something new. As the craft of fine chocolate becomes better understood and appreciated in this country, the more important it becomes to explore new frontiers. We thought about making traditional flavors like Sea Salt, Coconut, or Raspberry, but there are plenty of other chocolate makers doing a fine job of this already (and you should absolutely try them). Our approach to flavor is a little different.
We are excited to add a chocolate product that doesn't need refrigeration. Unlike our line of truffles, they'll pack easily for (almost) all of your adventures.
We plan to ship these to you in November, with a hard goal of delivering before the holiday season. You can give them as gifts if you like!
WHERE KICKSTARTER FUNDS GO
We are raising funds to purchase the packaging necessary to display and sell these chocolate bars. If we raise enough, we can purchase custom chocolate bar molds (two smaller squares of chocolate instead of one large chocolate bar) for ease of sharing and quality of life if you aren’t able to enjoy the whole bar in one sitting.
WHAT'S COMPLETE ALREADY
Headquarters in West Seattle, run by the talented Jason Grube and Corianton Hale, has been gracious enough to continue working on our brand. HQRTS is the magic behind our visual identity, and did a knock out job on our flagship truffle and cocoa products.
The goal is to display the chocolate bar in a way that catches the eye without distracting from the information most customers look for on a chocolate bar package: Brand – Percentage Darkness – Flavor. The guys presented us with a few options, and together we decided it was best to approach from a minimalist direction by downplaying our logo to increase the visual weight of the flavor text and associated color. We think their vision is amazing.
Still to be decided is the design for the chocolate bar squares inside, whether to print the full logo or have smaller logo with break lines. For now we are fulfilling as a single chocolate bar, but if we are able to order customer molds in time for fulfillment of this project, you can help us pick!
Our skill set is most refined in flavor development. We do not temper much in our kitchen, and tempering is a must-have-mastered skill for producing chocolate bars in good quality. Therefore we are partnering with a sister chocolate company, Forte Chocolates, owned and operated by chocolatier Karen Neugebauer, to temper our chocolate bars. Karen is an expert in the field and we are honored to be working with her and her talented team!
Karen warned us at the beginning that tempering chocolate will change the flavor drastically, because the chocolate will melt differently on the tongue and release the aromatics at a different speed than untempered chocolate we normally work with. Wow, was she right! Several of the flavors we first developed in our kitchen just did not taste the same after tempering. For instance, what we thought was a balanced honey sweetness in untempered chocolate required 4x the honey to taste as sweet in temper! But with her help we were able to achieve what we wanted. Thank you again for getting us there, Karen!
A BIT ABOUT US
Here is the most complete picture we have of the team. It doesn't include everyone who has been or has just become part of the Intrigue family, but here's most of us:
Since 2006 we’ve specialized in making flavored chocolate ganache truffles, perishable and cherisable. At first we made chocolate in a shared commercial kitchen during late night hours, then set up pop-up tasting tables at wineries in our local wine neighborhood of Woodinville.
In 2009 we built our own small kitchen in Pioneer Square, which was open for limited retail hours during the afternoon.
In 2012 we ran a successful Kickstarter to fund new packaging design (thank you)!
This new packaging communicated better Aaron’s artistry with chocolate, and we grew quickly. In 2015 we opened our first brick-and-mortar retail store, also in Pioneer Square, with the help of another successful social fund raising campaign, this one a micro-loan campaign through a local company called Community Sourced Capitol.
We are currently one of the highest rated chocolate shops in Seattle on Yelp. We have 2 full time and 3 part time team members (plus Aaron and Karl). And this year we'd like to take the big step of adding chocolate bars to the line up.
Thank you for considering supporting Intrigue with this new chocolate bar effort! The Kickstarting and micro-loan community has helped us grow at a time and size of business when bank loans were unavailable. Your support of small artisanal businesses does make a difference. We are a story that proves it. Cheers!
A big heart felt thank you to the following partners and superhereos:
Jason Grube and Corianton Hale from HQRTS for their design work, optimism, and bottomless enthusiasm.
Thank you to TullyCraft for lending us their fresh sound, Westchester Turnabouts, for the video!
Karen Neugebauer of Forte Chocolates. She is a true crafts-person, and her chocolate and flavor balancing are perfection.
E Smith Mercantile, Callous, Casco Antiguo, and Uwajimaya for allowing us to be silly with a camera for a while and make this video.
All the taste testers who have helped us refine the flavors of these bars.
And last but not least, the Kickstarter community for making the end result possible!
Risks and challenges
There are very few risks associated with the completion and fulfillment of this project as most steps are completed, but here are a few:
1) The packaging may have an error. To compensate for this we’ll get prototypes and test.
2) If we are able to do custom molds, they could be more expensive and/or take longer to deliver than we anticipate. If the molds are delayed, we will ask if you would prefer the ideal chocolate bar split into two as is the final design, or if you would prefer to get them as a single bar before the holiday season to give as gifts. We are using the single bar mold for development currently.
3) A very remote possibility, you may despise the flavors. That's life. But, we expect most of you will find them so delicious you’ll find yourself saying to someone else, “You have to try this!”Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)