Do you want to smile?
Sweet Steam’s latest creation will do that to you. It’s the Roustabout Root Beer Float Chocolate Bar. A delicious gourmet milk chocolate bar that tastes like a root beer float made with chocolate ice cream.
Taste it, and it’ll feel like you’re at an old-time soda fountain. Back it and you will do more than just get a great chocolate bar, you will actually make the world a better place. Read more to find out, or just back us right now.
A Chocolate Bar that Tastes Like a Root Beer Float!
That’s right! We’ve infused the flavor of root beer into the most delicious gourmet milk chocolate. As if that’s not enough, we sprinkle the back of the chocolate with root beer flavored Turbinado raw sugar.
Ok, but what makes Sweet Steam and our Chocolate Bar Different?
There are a bazillion chocolate companies, so why are we different?
- We source only the highest quality chocolate you can find
- We only use ethically sourced and environmentally sustainable chocolate
- We source only chocolate that is partnered with the World Cocoa Foundation.
- We strive to create new flavors that dare to make you smile
- Sweet Steam is dedicated to make everyone's day better
- We promise not to "give back" but to "give forward" and actually work with charities aligned with our beliefs and make them partners before we make a profit. (see more below).
A Bit About Sweet Steam
Sweet Steam had been making fine chocolates for the Steampunk Community since 2012. We really made some great friends at TeslaCon. So when they said their next convention would have a Wild Wild West theme. We immediately came up with a sarsaparilla chocolate in the shape of a sheriff badge. Everyone loved it! And since we keep running out of them at conventions, we figured that maybe folks who aren’t part of the steampunk world might like them, too. So here we are!
We're ready to scale this thing up and introduce the Roustabout Root Beer Float Bar to a larger audience. The money raised from this campaign will go directly into the business and help us to expand our operations.To make that leap, we're using the power of Kickstarter to help us pay for better packaging, higher-grade production equipment, and larger ingredient orders and get these fantastic bars in the hands of all that just want a better day.
Give Forward with S.T.E.A.M
The Sweet Steam partners have always thought that it’s a good thing to share your good fortune. That’s why we’ve made chocolates to support a series of worthy causes, including Movember, Coats for Children, Seedlings: Braille Books for Children, The Downriver Actors Guild, and the Belleville Public Library. And since we got our start in the steampunk world, we thought it was only fitting to support S.T.E.A.M. related groups!
So what’s S.T.E.A.M.?
Education is dear to us and schools continue to develop the S.T.E.M. fields--you know, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, which we love. But where are the things that make people feel? Music, Dance, Painting, Creating, etc. After all, as Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So we added Art. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math - S.T.E.A.M… that’s the stuff that powers the world.
Each of our products will provide ongoing support to an initiative that helps people from all walks of life find their S.T.E.A.M.-powered passion. 10% of our net profits from the Roustabout Bar sales will be dedicated to a single S.T.E.A.M.-powering cause… forever!
The Roustabout Bar will help power…a group that you’ll help us pick!
We’ve found several great organizations but would like your help in deciding. Click on the link below to choose one of our causes or you can suggest a worthy cause, but only our Kickstarter patrons get to vote. Once a cause is chosen we will partner with that group to Give Forward and make those smiles happen by giving 10% of the net profits earned from Roustabout sales.
Rewards: A few of our items offered
Gourmet Hot Cocoa Mix Add-on now available!
We are now offering our Hot Cocoa mix as an add on! Choose a bag of Sweet Steam's Gourmet Hot Cocoa (choose from Regular. Cinnamon, Spicy, Mint, Pumpkin Pie or Peanut Butter).
If you wish to add-on a Hot Cocoa Mix, (Chocolate, Cinnamon, Spicy, Mint, Pumpkin Pie or Peanut Butter) a Sweet Steam Tote or Sweet Steam Mug, to your reward, please follow these steps:
- Select your reward
- Adjust your pledge amount using the “manage your pledge” button.
- For a Sweet Steam Hot Cocoa Mix (a choice Chocolate, Cinnamon, Spicy, Mint, Pumpkin Pie or Peanut Butter) please increase your pedge by $9 per bag
- For a Sweet Steam Tote bag, please increase your pledge by $10
- For a Sweet Steam Mug, please increase your pledge by $15
- Hit save.
Just to clarify, if you have pre-selected rewards, there's no need to change the reward level which you had originally selected. At the end of the campaign you'll be sent a survey that will allow you to verify your added reward, so don't worry that it isn't showing up as the reward levels do.
Originally we just wanted a way to hang out with the fun people at steampunk conventions. We thought about several ideas--an airship crew, making and selling various steampunk accessories--but everything we came up with was already being done, and done well, by others. But nobody was making chocolate. What better way to make people happy than by creating some delicious and innovative chocolates? But we didn’t really know much about making chocolate at the time. We had a lot of work to do.
Our premiere event was the 2012 World Steam Expo in Dearborn, MI, and we made all the mistakes--we paid retail price for our raw materials, we spoiled some of our products by not letting them cool for long enough--like many entrepreneurs, we really had no idea what we were doing at first. We had a great time sharing our creations at the con, but we were fully expecting to take a loss. Imagine our surprise when we ran the numbers and discovered that we broke even! We’ve been refining our process and pushing the envelope of creativity ever since.
For example, our dark chocolate pocket watch is flavored with orange oil, which makes it our Clockwork Orange. We’ve also created a confection flavored with coffee and cardamom, one of the chief ingredients in Turkish coffee. We present that in the shape of a locomotive engine and call it the Orient Espresso.
Up until now, Sweet Steam products have only been available at conventions. We’ve tried to bring something new to each convention. Teslacon 6 was a Wild West theme, we created Sheriff Daly’s Sarsaparilla Stars--a milk chocolate sheriff badge that tastes like a root beer float. We were astonished that the stars sold out by noon on the second day! When the stars were equally well received at the next Steampunk World’s Fair, we knew we had something.
That’s the genesis of the Roustabout Bar. A product that not only would capture the magic and wonder of a steampunk convention but also could fit easily on any store’s shelves. But to get it there, we need your help. Click the green button to help get the Roustabout Bar into stores.
Where we’ve been:
Wow, this has been an incredible journey thus far! When we started this idea, we worked the math and decided that $7000 was the minimum needed to bring our product to retail for our fans and new customers. Honestly, we thought it would come down to the wire to reach our goal. We couldn’t believe that, just more than halfway into our four-week journey, we hit our goal! That is a testament to all of you who believe in and support us—and we can’t thank you enough! We are humbled and excited at the same time.
After we met the goal, our team came together and celebrated, but we also discussed different ways to get our product in front of as many people as possible. We learned, over the last four years, that samples are important. As we went from Con to Con and market to market, we realized that once someone tasted our chocolate, they smiled and bought something. That one simple bite was all we needed to make them want more. It was from our conversation that we came up with what we think is a great “stretch” idea--RoustaBites, bite-sized, root beer float chocolates based on the Roustabout Bar. We believe we can make this happen.
So what does that mean for the Roustabout Bar? First and foremost, we are dedicated to making the Roustabout Bar the best product that we can make to fulfill your faith in us. We think that the $7000 initial investment will help us do that, and thanks to you, our generous supporters, we are now almost to $9000! We feel that once we perfect the Roustabout Bar (from product to process), we can use the additional funds to begin development of RoustaBites.
RoustaBites are in the very early stages of development. Heck, we were/are fully concentrating on getting the best Roustabout Bar in your hands on time. But we really like the idea! There are many stages in the process of creating a great piece of chocolate, from design, sculpture, molds, production, packaging and fulfillment. So, we don’t think it is right to say we can deliver the bites at the same time we deliver the bar. It is also the reason we are not offering the RoustaBites as a reward by reaching a certain pledge number. But what we are saying is— once we make the best bar we can make and get it into your hands, any money left over will go directly into the development stages of the RoustaBites.
We feel extremely fortunate and grateful that you all support and believe in us--it’s what motivates us to keep moving forward. To new friends that are discovering us for the first time, your pledge could help make two delicious products come to life! We hope that you are as excited as we are!
Smile on, The Sweet Steam Team Darrow, Jeff, Doug and Joe
Jeff’s always been a bit eccentric. He’s been a LARPer, a warden at an Irish youth hostel, a musician, an actor, a screenwriter, a stay-at-home-dad, a freelance writer, and a knowledge management specialist.
During his time freelancing, he joined a group of creative entrepreneurs. At about the same time, he and some of the rest of the group went to their first steampunk gathering. The whole group recognized the positive energy of the steampunk world and wanted to be a part of that. They soon realized that chocolate was an unfilled niche in the Steampunk world, and along with the rest of the group, Jeff tapped into his imagination to create new shapes and flavor combinations to appeal to his fellow steampunks. The group poured their creativity and energy into getting ready for their debut event.
That first venture--the World Steam Expo--wasn’t exactly a smashing financial success. The group broke even. But the feedback they got from their fellow steampunks made Jeff realize that this was where he wanted to be.
R. Darrow Bernick
The first time I walked into a steampunk convention I was amazed by the imagination, the magic of it all. I remember thinking to myself that I really wanted to be a bigger part of all the show and the glitter and the glamour.
At the time, I was running a small support group for artists that were also entrepreneurs. Every other week we would meet, our little group, to talk about our individual projects and works of art that we were trying to turn into some sort of actual business venture, and up until that point, all of our projects were isolated from each other. We had talked about perhaps doing some sort of group project, but we had never joined forces.
During one of our meetings, we all were sitting around talking about steampunk conventions and what a unique experience they were. Each of us wanted to get to know the people of Steampunk more than we were able to during our brief interactions by attending a concert or sitting through a discussion panel or two. So, we decided to put our collective creative skills to use and start a project that would allow us to meet more people.
We learned to make chocolate. It seemed like a good choice, since we hadn’t seen anyone else doing it at conventions. We learned to make molds for chocolate. After all, we wanted our confections to be shaped in new and exciting ways. We learned how to decorate the chocolate so that it would look like metal gears and pocket watches. We learned to flavor chocolate so that it would taste wonderful with combinations like cinnamon and cayenne pepper or espresso and cardamom.
Up until that first convention, the joy of making chocolate simply boiled down to how much fun it was to spend time with friends and fellow artists. However, the moment I gave that first sample of chocolate to my first customer at our first steampunk convention and, for the first time, watched an honest-to-goodness “chocolate happy dance”, my enjoyment changed to passion. I had gotten to see the face of someone who ate this new and interesting flavor and who had TRULY loved it. That person’s reaction changed the joy of making chocolate for me. Suddenly making chocolate meant connecting with new people. Suddenly I learned making chocolate could make other people happy and, in turn make me happy. Now, I’m hooked.
Doug has spent his life pursuing creative endeavors and great tasting chocolate. So these two pursuits were to inevitably collide, and they have, with Sweet Steam.
He has been drawing since he could hold a pencil, at first comics, then conforming to whatever art teachers gave “A” grades for producing. Upon reaching high school he was planning on being the next Frank Lloyd Wright but the architecture program was cancelled and the hole in his schedule got filled with art classes. Realizing he could have all the creative fun without all the math classes was a revelation. This led him to one of the region's greatest art schools, The Center for Creative Studies, as a dual major of illustration and graphic design.
Doug has built a career in advertising/commercial art that has spanned decades. Starting in small studios with large clients that he felt gave him the broadest opportunities to get the diversity of projects he craved. But he still craved something else . . . chocolate. And this is where Sweet Steam comes into the story, with a passionate group of compatriots chocolate was brought back into his creative sphere in the most delightful way. And he has been loving every minute of it!
A Detroit expatriate that yearns to create, learn, and be part of something bigger. Chocolate is that something bigger. Starting out as a creative in the art of Graphic Design he meandered his way into an International and E-commerce Marketing Director. Joe is ecstatic to join the Sweet Steam Team and lend his talents in branding and marketing. There at the beginning but took a long hiatus, is now back and inspired by his three friends and how hard they work and the time they spent building their love for this brand. It’s time to make a better world one morsel at a time.
Invitation to carry Roustabout Bars in your Store
Do you have a brick-and-mortar store? Are you as excited about the Roustabout Bar as we are? Contact us about your interest, and once our Kickstarter is successful, you’ll be one of the first to have Sweet Steam’s Roustabout Bars in your impulse rack!
November 2016: Kickstarter Launches at TeslaCon
December 2016: Kickstarter Ends with your funding!
December 2016 - January 2017: Production Begins with a sculpture… of the new Roustabout Root Beer Float Chocolate Bar!
February 2017: Molds and packaging are made
March 2017: Roustabout Bars and other rewards get made for our Kickstarter Supporters
March 2017 - April 2017: Roustabout Bars and Kickstarter Rewards begin shipping to Kickstarter Supporters!
April 2017 - ? You Smile!
Risks and challenges
This Kickstarter campaign is happening because we're doing something new--we've always sold our chocolates directly to the consumer. The new challenge for us will be in getting our product onto store shelves. We're confident that we can do it, though--with your support.
We've brought several products from concept to reality, and glitches in the process do sometimes happen. If there are any hiccups, we may have to adjust our schedule a bit. We'll be transparent with our backers if anything happens to cause a delay.
After we've fulfilled all our obligations to our backers is where the new and exciting process of putting the Roustabout Bar on store shelves will begin.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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