chocolate subscription services to explore

Welcome to our newest subscribers! It’s great having you join our chocolate loving community. I hope you’ll actively join the conversation on this post, and any of the previous ones as I’d love to hear what you think. 😊

In a previous post I wrote about some of the chocolate curators I’ve visited who have great chocolate shops featuring some of the best chocolate makers of the world. In this week’s post, I’d like to introduce you to the idea of belonging to a chocolate subscription service. These are ideal for chocolate lovers who want to expand their chocolate knowledge and experiences within the comfort of their own homes. We can’t travel right right now in search of great chocolate, but there are services that will deliver an assortment of great chocolate right to your door. Here are a few chocolate subscription services or “chocolate clubs” that I found of interest.

chocolate-subscriptions

Your monthly chocolate subscription from Cococlectic arrives in a plain brown box, but the chocolate inside will wow you.

The first one I experienced is Cococlectic based in San Francisco, California–the hotbed of great American chocolate. Cococlectic is the brainchild of Doreen Leong, who hales from Malaysia and moved in San Francisco in 2006. She quickly learned how great pure and simple dark chocolate can be, and in 2014, launched Cococlectic with the goal of “Melting the gap between chocolate makers and aficionados.” With a Cococlectic membership, chocolate lovers get a monthly shipment of four chocolate bars from the maker of the month. There are several different pricing options for membership.

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Signing up for a chocolate subscription service is a great way to discover chocolate makers you may not otherwise find, learn something about them, and support sustainable chocolate via your membership. For its monthly subscription service, Cococlectic only carries pure dark chocolate from bean-to-bar makers with no added flavour inclusions. “I believe that inclusions such as nuts, fruits, etc. take away from the incredible chocolate taste of pure bean-to-bar chocolate,” says Doreen, who only carries chocolate from makers who source their own cocoa beans, and whose chocolate is not broadly available via other sources. “I want to bring our chocolate aficionados wonderful products they would not otherwise get to experience,” says Doreen.

I enjoyed receiving the package containing four different Raphio Chocolate bars. I’d met this Fresno-based chocolate maker at the International Chocolate Festival in San Mateo, California, and really enjoyed meeting the makers of this great single-origin chocolate. Cococlectic gave me the opportunity to taste more chocolate from Raphio, including the terrific 72% Nicaragua bar with natural flavour notes of pecans, dates, and molasses. If you peruse the Chocolate Collection offered by Cococlectic, you will be wowed by the diversification of cocoa origins represented in its offerings.

chocolate-subscriptions

The neatly wrapped packet of four chocolate bars chosen for me by Bar and Cocoa arrived via DHL Express Courier within two days! Very impressive!

Another interesting subscription service for chocolate lovers is Bar and Cocoa based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA. For those in the area, it should be noted that Bar and Cocoa also has a great shop where you can drop in and peruse the select award-winning chocolate of the world in person. Bar and Cocoa is run by co-founders Pashmina and Chris who are truly passionate about the world of chocolate and cacao.

The primary difference between Cococlectic and Bar and Cocoa is that Cococlectic primarily features American-made chocolate and ships without charge within the US, with an additional charge to ship to Canada. Bar and Cocoa features chocolate of the world and sends you a selection of four bars–one from each of four different chocolate makers within the same order. Cococlectic sends you four different bars from one maker in each month’s order. Both ways are great. It depends on your approach to chocolate tasting which one you will prefer. And it depends on your location, as Bar and Cocoa only ships within the USA at present. That’s a pity, as the amazing service provided by DHL Express got the chocolate from South Carolina to me in rural Manitoba, Canada, in just two days. Amazing. And the chocolate provided was equally amazing, as it provided a new offering from Original Beans, a chocolate lover I truly love, as well as introducing me to chocolate makers that were brand new to me.

chocolate-subscriptions

Chocolate subscription services are a great way to experience chocolate of the world. This is the selection of artisan bars I received from Bar and Cocoa. It included a new bar from Original Beans, a company I already knew and loved, as well as introduced me to three brands that were entirely new to me and all good.

A chocolate subscription that is truly global in its chocolate offerings, as well as its delivery service is Cocoa Runners. This company stocks more than 800 different bean-to-bar chocolate bars from chocolate makers around the world, and it delivers virtually everywhere in the world. The cool thing about Cocoa Runners is that you can answer an online taste test that helps them define the types of bars you will most enjoy based on your flavour preferences. For as we all know, tasting chocolate is much like tasting wine, and what one person loves, another may not even like.

Chocolate subscription clubs provide an excellent service enabling chocolate lovers to expand their chocolate knowledge while tantalizing their palates. You can never get bored with tasting artisan chocolate as there are continually new players on the scene and new flavour infusions to explore. Finding the ones you like best is just part of the fun!

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I’m quite impressed with Kekao Chocolate Purveyors of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I like the way they use a small box that minimizes the cost of postage and makes the package eco-friendly. I like the burlap sack inside the box that keeps the bars in tact and adds to the presentation. I like the seasonal coloured packing strips that add to the excitement and anticipation as you open the sack. And of course … I like the terrific chocolate they have on offer.
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I was impressed with the enclosed “How to Taste Chocolate” card that Kekao includes in their subscription boxes. And most of all … I loved the curated contents of the sack containing four lovely bars. I’ve had chocolate from three of the makers previously, but have not previously tasted or heard of Blanxart. So I loved being introduced to a new-to-me maker, and the fact that I’m tasting four specific bars that are all new to me. 
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I also liked the fact that there is a wide range of origins included in the Kekao subscription package. The American-made Amano bar features a Caribbean origin from the Dominican Republic. The Manoa bar features Hawaiian grown and made chocolate. The Blanxart bar features Nicaraguan cocoa that is crafted into chocolate in Spain. And the Raaka bar is an American-made bar featuring unroasted Ugandan cocoa. My only complaint with Kekao is that (at this point in time) they only work in USD even though they are a Canadian company in Canada. Therefore Canadians will be charged US prices. I’m told that will change over time, but being charged a 30+ percent exchange rate within my own country does not sit well with me. American clients will no doubt feel differently and are likely to be very happy with the Kekao chocolate subscription service.

Have you had an experience with any of these chocolate subscription services? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Until we can resume our chocolate travels, they are our best option to get us through these trying times. And a chocolate gift subscription will make a terrific gift for any chocolate lover in your life. 😊 After all, chocolate is a natural feel good drug that makes the world a little sweeter. If you’d like to read more about the health benefits of chocolate, please check out this post.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

51 Responses

  1. It’s a treat just to see the photos of these great chocolates–let alone read your descriptions! What a yummy idea!

  2. Beverly says:

    I would like to thank you for another informative post. I am happy to learn about chocolate subscription services. They sound like a great way to taste a variety of chocolate. You are the perfect teacher to inform your readers about the various aspects of the chocolate industry.

  3. We just looked at Cococlectic this past Saturday, too.

    • Hi TammyJo! Yes, I think that we chocolate lovers can really benefit from subscription services. It’s amazing the great quality of world chocolate that they will curate for you every month. It’s going to be a long winter, so we may as well enjoy it!

  4. Linda Paul says:

    What a perfect way to travel from home and explore wonderful chocolate during this time of pandemic!

    • Exactly, Linda! That’s why I’ve updated and republished this post. I’ve ordered chocolate from several of my favourite chocolate makers over the past couple of months. Chocolate really DOES make you feel more positive and happier. It’s is nature’s wonderful feel good drug!

  5. James says:

    Great idea!
    Love subscription boxes, they are kind of addictive, once you start you can´t stop.

  6. Karen Warren says:

    What a great idea! It can be quite difficult to find “proper” chocolate, so it would be good to have a selection to try.

  7. What an excellent idea! Your descriptions certainly make getting chocolate delivered mighty tempting!!

  8. Chocolate subscription service! Guess I know what I’m asking my husband for this holiday season:) Out of these four, is there any one you would recommend in particular, Doreen? I should mention that I eat dark chocolate almost exclusively. Thank you!

    • Hi Christina and thanks for your comment. I’ll leave the choice up to you. Each subscription service is slightly different. So carefully read the conditions and choose the one that is right for you. They all specialize in high quality dark craft chocolate. Enjoy, and let me know how it goes. 🙂
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…chocolate subscription services to exploreMy Profile

  9. Ben says:

    Nice post. As a lover of chocolate, I had never heard of chocolate subscription services, and to the best of my knowledge have never seen them in the UK . If I could subscribe to white chocolate, I would be in dreamland.

    • Hi Ben and welcome to Chocolatour! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different kinds of chocolate to slowly train your palate to enjoy a more robust chocolate. If you graduate from white chocolate to milk chocolate to dark milk chocolate, you’ll be on a wonderful journey. But for those who really love white chocolate, the best I have eaten is a blond chocolate that comes from chocoMe of Budapest, Hungary. You will find them profiled on my site if you want to look them up.:-)
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…chocolate subscription services to exploreMy Profile

  10. Lori says:

    I wish I hadn’t read this;) Now to keep it from my hubby. We’re lovers of not just good but great chocolates and can’t always find those brands. This would certainly solve that.

  11. Phuong Nguyen says:

    I am so excited to know about the chocolate subscription services . It is useful for the true chocolate lover !

  12. It’s great that Chococlectic ships for free. How much would their monthly subscription cost?

  13. What a great idea to try different brands. I’ve never signed up for a monthly subscription service, but having chocolate delivered throughout the year is one I’d definitely give a second thought! Would make a great Mother’s Day Gift.

  14. Cindi Conley says:

    This is mind-blowing – chocolate subscription!?!?!? What an amazing idea! Thanks for opening my eyes to this Doreen. Plus – who knew the International Chocolate Festival is in my backyard – San Mateo CA!!

    • Hi Cindi, and thx so much for stopping by! I had a super time in San Mateo County last year. Alas, I don’t believe they’re having the Int’l Chocolate Fest this year as the organizer retired. But maybe someone will take it over for next year as attendance was certainly great for their first year at 15,000. Sorry you missed it!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…chocolate subscription services to exploreMy Profile

  15. Look what you taught me this time! I had no idea there was such a thing as monthly chocolate clubs. What a fun idea–though, for me, this would add to the addiction. Ha ha.

  16. I never knew chocolate subscription services existed, although I always used to think there should be something so that I can have the luxury to enjoy new flavours and options frequently. This is a wonderful idea for people like me who have a chocolaty tooth.

  17. What a great gift idea for chocolate lovers–to give or to get for themselves!

  18. Phoenicia says:

    I like the name Cococletic. I did not realise chocolate subscriptions were even a thing. I would happily sign up to one, particularly if there were free perks every now and then!

  19. Emidio Amadebai says:

    Hi Doreen,

    Hope you are doing great. thanks for sharing, I was absolutely unaware of such a service. I will be sharing it with my wife, she’s the real chocolate lover, am sure she’ll love it. I will also be pinning your post on Pinterest…surely another chocolate lover will appreciate it.

  20. You know, I’ve never ordered through a single subscription service, but these look very interesting. My daughter and husband would love to try some new varieties, and the convenience delivered to my door is the best!

  21. Beverly says:

    I did not know chocolate subscription services existed. Thanks for expanding our knowledge further.

  22. Tami Wilcox says:

    I once tried a foreign food subscription box called Try the World, and it was sure fun when the box would arrive each month. I hadn’t heard of any chocolate subscritions, but it sounds like a winner!

  23. Janet says:

    Sounds very interesting Doreen.

  24. Sue Reddel says:

    What a wonderful way to experience some new and different kinds of chocolate.

  25. I’m going to check out Chocolate Runners because shipping to Canada seems onerous or unavailable with the other two. Subscriptions are a good idea because I think most of us like to try a variety and not get stuck on one brand.

  26. Cindy Ladage says:

    How cool to get chocolate in the mail! Love this thanks for sharing!

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