Yesterday, we had our tasting in New York, kindly hosted by Entwine Bar. The chocolate tasting was a great success- the chocolate was gone within 1.5 hours, and the feedback was great and very valuable.
What I learned from mingling with the tasters was that everyone has a very unique taste in chocolate. Some don't like dark chocolate, others only like dark chocolate. Some thought the super spicy "firemaker" was the hit of the night, others, well, not. This is really wonderful feedback for chocri, because chocri allows each one of you to make exactly what you like.
So now about the event itself:
The first big group of people came before we even had a chance to bring all the chocolate out of its hiding place. I had told the bar, when we planned the event, that we should set the time to 8 p.m., because then everybody would probably get in around 8:30 p.m. Little did I know! By 8.10 p.m., the wine bar was crowded and the bartender was struggling to supply the thirsty crowd with cocktails and wine. Drinks such as "The Highline" (actually the name of a popular, new park that recently opened not too far from the bar) or Prosecco with Elderflower went with their new owners to discover the chocolate of the night.
New York foodies take a tasting seriously. I saw eyes closed, guests concentrating on the chocolate melting in their mouths and the taste unfolding, then carefully writing down ratings and suggestions. Quickly the chocolates had been reduced to just a few, and latecomers were a left with only a few to try (sorry!). From walking around and speaking to the tasters, I learned that everyone had at least one or a few bars that they loved, but also that people like certain types: Dark vs. not, lots of ingredients on top vs. simple bars, or spicy vs. not spicy. This is great, because it is exactly the reason why customized chocolate like chocri is needed in this world! With chocri, you can create exactly the bar that you (or the recipient) will love.
The two most popular bars were the "White with Berries" bar, that had strawberries, blueberries and cranberries on top, as well as the more extravagant "Classic, Pure, and Dark" with dark chocolate, sour cherries, Sunday morning coffee and almond slices. Overall, the most popular ingredient was coffee, and we received some exciting suggestions of ingredients to add, from pink pepper to sun dried tomatoes. It was great to see though that out of all the ingredients suggestions, more than half of them are already available on the German website, so we're on the right track!
We know now that the high quality of chocri is appreciated also in the US market, and we are looking forward with confidence to our launch here. In the end, we even had a surprise guest: Not knowing about the chocolate tasting, Anne Burrell walked in. She is a chef on the food network in the show "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef", was the sous chef of Mario Batali on Iron Chef, and is very engaged in the food scene in New York. In other words: This lady knows food! Of course she got some chocolate, but I didn't want to disturb her evening so I unfortunately didn't get her feedback. Maybe she wants to leave a comment on the blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org? ...
Finally, thanks to all of you who came. This was a fun evening, and your feedback is appreciated and will make our offering in the US only better. We will soon open up the discussion about ingredients and packaging to more people, so stay tuned.
Until next time!
The chocri team
You can also find us on www.facebook.com/chocri.