About this project
We love chocolate. Just about everyone we know loves chocolate. One day we had an idea and we couldn't stop thinking about it. What if we could laser engrave a message into chocolate? And so began our adventure into the world of chocolate and lasers.
It's hard to think of something more important to a chocolate company than the quality of its chocolate. For us, it's also a priority that our chocolate be safe for people with certain allergies. We totally get it. Jennifer is allergic to 7 of the 8 major allergens, plus a bunch more, so for us, finding premium soy-free chocolate was crucial to the mission.
Our supplier crafts Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate with cacao sustainably sourced from Ecuador. It’s crafted in small batches in the French artisan tradition in the US with only the finest non-GMO ingredients. The dark chocolate shares equipment with milk and white chocolate. Their facility is free of peanuts, eggs, wheat, shellfish and fish and the chocolate is soy, peanut and gluten-free.
Because we take allergens very seriously, the Noteworthy Chocolates kitchen and laser lab will also be a wheat, peanut and soy-free facility.
When you’re allergic and sensitive to 40 foods, finding chocolate that’s safe to eat is challenging. This is a video we made of Jennifer, Co-founder of Noteworthy Chocolates, talking about food allergies, losing all her hair, and the joy of knowing the chocolate is safe to eat. It’s an important part of our story, and the reason we focus so much on ingredients, so we thought it would be good to share.
The chocolate will be engraved by a food certified laser machine that is used only for chocolate. The laser uses light and heat for the engraving process, and no chocolate is harmed in the laser engraving process.
A note on dark chocolate: The laser engraving is more difficult to read in the dark chocolate. We have found that adding a small amount of FDA certified metallic luster dust makes it both pretty, and easier to read. This is always an option for the dark chocolate, but not automatic since we know some people might not want sparkly chocolate.
Let's take the next step!
We've been doing all the laser work at the Danbury Hackerspace, the Danbury area community makerspace, and all the tempering and pouring on our dining room table. The results have been outstanding. The chocolate has been devoured. The messages have been read. The people are happy.
So far, everything has been improvised, so we're excited for what we can do with more space and professional equipment. With your backing, we will create a certified kitchen and laser lab, purchase lasers and other equipment, order professional chocolate molds, develop the website, and then make and send all the yummy rewards!
Thank you for showing the LOVE! We’ve hit our funding goal and are now ready to get going on building our business and producing your yummy rewards. We are forever grateful! With our budget covered, we feel that now we can release a stretch goal. We want everyone to know that every dollar that comes in now will go toward creating a robust business that not only has delicious chocolate, but also offers an extraordinary product and customer service.
Since the beginning, we’ve always wanted to include a heart shaped option. If we make it to $32,000 we will have a elegant, custom heart mold produced in two sizes. They will be equivalent to the Note (6 oz., 5”x5”) and the Letter (12 oz., 6”x8”) size and will be an option for anyone who has a reward code for a note or letter. They fit about 30% less text, but they will have beautiful template art and fonts to choose from and are perfect for saying “I Love You!”
The cost associated with this include: design and manufacture of two sizes of chocolate molds, designing heart-shaped templates, additional equipment, packaging and supplies to accommodate a different shape.
Another note: We will honor the earlier shipping time for all of our Early Bird Backers if they want to increase their pledge and that reward has a later ship date. Thank you!
There are three types of rewards.
- Medallions will be shipped by October 27, 2016. We will collect your chocolate choices and shipping information with a backer survey once the campaign is over.
- Reward Codes will be emailed to backers who pick rewards that will be ordered on our (future!) website. These include Notes, Cards, and Letters that are personalized by you. You can hop online and order what you need, when you need it. Just enter your Reward Code and that's it!
- The codes will never, ever expire, so you’ll be able to use them whenever you’re ready. You will receive one code for each item in your reward. So, if you get a reward with two items (for instance, two Notes), you’ll get two codes and you can use them at different times. You can even give one of your codes to your BFF so they can write back! You can be pen pals in chocolate 4eva!
- Custom Reward Packages are rewards that we design together and we will be in contact with you by email or phone so we can make plans. Please keep in mind that there are some design limitations; we’ll work together to make sure your design is just what you want.
We are so thankful for being funded that we'd like to pay it forward. In chocolate! Our new reward level is a way to help bring cheer and kindness to a person in need, and help us reach our stretch goal of heart-shaped notes and letters.
The Kindness Note: $20.00 increments
The Kindness Note is something nice we can do to support a person who could use a little positivity in their life. We’ll work with organizations serving veterans, domestic abuse victims, and at-risk children and teens to identify people in need. People who could really use some kindness from strangers will receive a chocolate Note with beautiful art and a message of kindness.
Current backers who want to do this can increase their pledge in $20.00 increments and keep the same reward. Just send us a message and we’ll take it from there.
If this is your only reward choice, then pledge in $20.00 increments and we will send out that many notes! One Note sized chocolate (6 oz., 5" x 5") engraved with a message of kindness. Includes printed paper copy of note and an extra chocolate token to eat or share.
New Rewards! Improved Rewards!
Added $50 Reward Level: Two Note size (5"x5") chocolates at the Early Bird price of $25 each.
More Chocolate for the $125 Reward Level: Since we added the $50 reward, we also increased the number of Notes in this reward from four to five. Anyone who already pledged for the $125 reward level just got leveled up to 5 Notes. We didn't want you to feel unappreciated in any way. Hope you don't mind some extra chocolate!
New $300 Custom Rewards Package! We are really excited for this one! A bunch of people have asked us for a smaller medallion package, so we came up with this combination. It's 50 customized medallions and a 6"x8" Centerpiece. The Centerpiece can be switched out for more medallions and the medallions can be personalized for each guest. Feel free to contact us with your ideas for a custom reward that matches your needs. There are so many possibilities, but here are a few ideas we had fun creating:
- Wedding or special event seating placement cards and a centerpiece with your wedding vows, art or message.
- Office Party time? Personalized employee appreciation medallions, plus a Centerpiece with a message, logo, or art.
- Personalized Thank You medallions for colleagues, funders, or sponsors of your project or Non-profit.
- Baby Shower time! Chocolate announcement medallions with a centerpiece for the happy parents.
- Save the Date medallions, a delicious way to announce sweet news!
We are very excited to announce that we can DREAM BIG together and help make a special day even more special with CUSTOM REWARD PACKAGES! We can add A LOT of extra value to these perks and we are excited to really go the extra mile for anyone who takes advantage of these! Please contact us directly to see what we can do.
When it's time to write your message, there will be a variety of themes to choose from, including birthday, love notes, good wishes, invitations, awards, thanks, best friends, retirement and celebration. The possibilities are endless!
We are committed to simple, beautiful, eco-elegant packaging. We believe each element needs to be either biodegradable, recyclable, reusable, or compostable. Our packaging may end up being different than pictured here, but this gives you an idea of our vision. That's a compostable box, and even the sticker around the chocolate is recyclable and compostable.
Every reward includes USPS Priority Mail shipping within the continental United States. Shipping from Connecticut means 1-3 days in transit for most places. We carefully monitor the destination of each order so we can add freezer packs (reusable!) so we know when to avoid the dreaded melty chocolate. We also ship so it has the least amount of time in transit. This might mean that an order placed on a Friday to the west coast, would be shipped on Monday. We may negotiate an alternative shipping arrangement with a different carrier, but only if it gets your chocolate to you even quicker!
To test our idea, we wrote, laser engraved, and sent over seventy Chocolate Notes to our friends and family. It was a huge success! To make the Notes, we tempered tons of chocolate and learned all about the process. Everyone got a delicious chocolate note laser engraved with a message written especially for them. They also got a beautiful laser engraved paper copy of the message. We got valuable product feedback and shipping information, and lots of encouragement!
Everyone agreed that this is a great way to connect. (So much yummier than a text or an email!) That's when we realized that this is about more than just sending chocolate; it's celebrating our connections with each other that makes sending messages in chocolate so much fun.
It has been a very fast and intense learning curve, but we are proud of how far we have come in such a short time span. We are committed to getting the rewards rolling out within a year of the inception of the idea. This first phase took 6 months and the next phase will take 5 months, and then it’s yummy reward time!
Thank you Rob Wallace, designer extraordinaire, for making this place beautiful and for being silly, like us!
And THANK YOU! for supporting and sharing this adventure!
Risks and challenges
As is true in any new adventure, there are plenty of risks and challenges to examine.
We will continue to experiment with creative ways to make the dark chocolate easier to read and ways to prevent the (very) small amount of sugar bloom that sometimes shows up on chocolate (it's that white stuff). Totally safe to eat, just not as pretty.
There is always a chance for delay when dealing with government and health agencies. We've consulted with our town Health Department and Michael has his CT Food Managers Certificate. We also have the support of several friends who own food service establishments for guidance.
Shipping- We will continue to explore ways to avoid melty chocolate by researching other freezer pack and faster shipping options.
Every new business has growing pains. We will continue to meet the challenges with the support and guidance of community professionals, advisors, and friends.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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