Ganache based drinking chocolate & delicious homemade marshmallows served from a truck this winter! What's not to love?
So this is IT! We didn't make it to our goal, but let's be honest, it was FUN trying!
The Warming House
At its most basic level, a warming house is quite simply a shelter from the cold. You can see them dotted across lakes all throughout the winter, smoke rising from the chimney, windows fogged over, providing relief from the bitter cold.
We want to make that warmth and comfort more accessible by putting it in a cup and bringing it to you in the form of chocolate; really good drinking chocolate. With a homemade marshmallow unlike anything you've ever tasted before. That's right. We want to bring you a warm hug-in-a-cup when you need it most.
With your help this can happen.
You know that fudgey chocolate on the inside of fancy truffles? It's a ganache, and that's what we are using as the base for our drinking chocolate. Sounds great, right? It gets better.
We've partnered with the fine folks at the St. Croix Chocolate Company to make this ganache, and we've landed on a handful of fantastic dairy free (that's right...DAIRY FREE) drinking chocolate recipes.
How is that possible you ask? Well, we are using coconut milk. It's that simple. We then infuse the ganache with all kinds of different spices and flavors like cardamon, cinnamon and coffee. Or for those looking for some heat this winter, we have a cayenne infused drinking chocolate.
We also have a crowd favorite that came out of our recipe development - the chocolate & chai! We drank a lot of chai this summer, and landed on the naturally caffeine free rooibos from Verdant Tea. It's spicy and creamy and so drinkable that one taster said she would knock over an old lady to get some.
It's inherently comforting to eat something that is homemade, and marshmallows are a great example of this.
Marshmallows are like a house of cards – you remove one ingredient and you have to replace it with one that serves the exact same purpose. Marshmallows bought in the store are more science than food.
So the first thing we did was to perfect the basic marshmallow recipe, warts and all. Then we removed the ingredients we don’t like, like corn syrup and replaced it with local honey.
With your help we will be able to continue to experiment in the communal kitchen of Verdant Tea to develop new marshmallow recipes, with the goal of making them vegan.
With your help we will demonstrate several things.
1. That Minnesota is friggin awesome. We have winter, we love winter. We can not only survive the deadly cold, but we can THRIVE in it. By supporting our campaign you helping to make our longest season our best season. A season to look forward to.
2. That we live in a strong community of artists and foodies and athletes and corporate types that have ideas that will enhance the lives of those around them. By helping us fund this project, you are showing the world that Minnesota is a place where ideas are conceived and born and raised to be good citizens.
We've brought this concept further than we ever imagined we could and with your contribution we can take it even further. With your help you will be able to drink our chocolate!
There are lots of expenses that go into building a business. If you remember the choose your own adventure books, this is your option to skip these details and check out our delicious rewards ========>>>
1. The Truck
Best estimates put this portion of the adventure at roughly $18-20k. Part of that is the purchase of the vehicle, and the rest is getting the truck in mechanical order and making the interior compliant with the city.
As we mentioned in the video, the truck needs LOTS of work:
(You can find more fun videos and get updates on our progress on our Facebook brand page.)
2. Equipment, Supplies & Kitchen Fees
We are lucky that we don't need a griddle and a fire suppression system and all that hoo-hah. We do need some devices that stir the chocolate and keep it at a moderated temperature, and those are expensive, roughly $400 each. We need an order entry system, we need a small heater so we don't freeze our toes off, we need to pay for use of the Verdant Tea commercial kitchen, off street parking, insurance...the list goes on.
3. Fees, Permits & Licensing
No secret here, but Kickstarter needs to keep the lights on (5%) and Amazon needs to build an ark (3-5%), so there goes 10 percent right there.
And then there is the permitting and food safety classes and other red tape. Between Mpls & St. Paul, we are talking about another $1-2k.
Right now we can't afford to be included in the major events as they are expensive as heck but are working out ways that we can be close enough to not violate any city codes.
So far we have been lucky enough to be invited to appear outside the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul for several dates - Dec 5th (Aimee Mann!), Dec 12th (HarMar Superstar!) and Dec 20 (Thao & The Get Down Stay Down). Maybe we'll see you there?
They say that it takes a village, and that is certainly no exaggeration. We've been fortunate to have partnered with Robyn and Deidre of St. Croix Chocolate Company to hone our recipes all summer.
We came to them with an idea and they opened their arms and their kitchen to us. Messes were made and laughs were had and in the end we came up with a solid group of drinking chocolates for our debut.
We met Lily and David of Verdant Tea at the North Coast Nosh in August, and started experimenting with their chai. We'll also use their communal kitchen to experiment with flavor combinations. We couldn't have asked for better partners!
Connect With Us!
And then there is YOU. Many of you have already helped us with branding, video, sound, and more of you have offered your tastebuds and opinions!
There are more on the horizon. This is just the start. The future is bright Minnesota! With your help we can take make this dream a reality!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There are so many moving parts (no pun intended) to building a food truck.
We are doing our best to mother hen every step of the way, but there will be more obstacles, some of which we haven't even anticipated!
We realize that we are aiming high here, and our timing is tight. Plan B is to wait out the season without a truck, but to go to indoor events like the Kingfield Winter Market. Either way, you'll still get your rewards. :)
Thanks to both Kathy and Kacie who brought this up - right now we are suggesting that you contribute $25 to the "Stay Puff" option and shoot us a message telling us that you want it to include the "Loner" option as well.
That'll fix things for now, but we may have to just add another reward level to make this easier for all you who want your marshmallows and chocolate too!
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Karma: Pledges starting at $1 will help us achieve our goal - we'll keep you in the know with all our exclusive updates. Every buck counts and we appreciate it!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3 or moreYou selected
Old School: Handwritten postcard thanking you for your support. It'll say something like: THANK YOU WE LOVE YOU. Think about the last time you got something meaningful in the post!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
The Loner: For a contribution of $10 bucks we'll send you a chocolate stir stick so you can enjoy a serving of delicious dairy free ganache based drinking chocolate at home while in your pajamas. All you have to do is add warm liquids to a mug of your choice and stir stir stir.We'll even send you a THANK YOU postcard!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
Stay Puff: This is a great deal. If you've never had a homemade marshmallow, you are in for a surprise. Pack of 12 marshmallows whose flavor combinations may include: rooibus chai, graham cracker, cap'n crunch, peppermint bark, etc. While we are at it, we'll send you a nice THANK YOU post card!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $45 or moreYou selected
Plymouth Rock: For $45 you get unique access to special pages on Facebook where you'll get advanced updates, give US your input on future flavor combinations, get invites to exclusive chocolate tastings & more! The first order is to determine our secret handshake.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $65 or moreYou selected
Maximizer: This will give you the best of both worlds. For $65 we'll send you a thank you a postcard, 3 chocolate stir sticks, 1 dozen marshmallows, THANK YOU postcard AND founding member privileges! That's a deal.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
8 backers Limited (42 left of 50)
Wall of Fame: We will have your name engraved on a commemorative plaque that will hang inside the truck FOREVER. This is only offered to 50 of our most ardent supporters, and will ensure we think of you every day! Oh, and you'll get founding member privileges AND a Thank You postcard!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
10 backers Limited (90 left of 100)
Double Down: Contribute at this level and not only will you get your very own limited edition Warming House ceramic mug, but it ALSO comes with a double serving of drinking chocolate at every event until you lose or break your mug. (That's 6 oz of thick rich chocolate!) Of course you ALSO get founding member privileges AND that handwritten postcard from yours truly.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
- (25 days)