I first heard about Kekao Box when fellow blogger Victoria Cooksey of Dark Matters Chocolate Reviews shared her box of bars on Instagram. Thanks to Dino from Kekao Chocolate Purveyors, I now have the chance to try one of their boxes. If you’ve never heard of Kekao Box they’re a chocolate subscription service where every month you can receive a variety of dark chocolate bars. Their focus is on dark rather than milk or white chocolate for the health benefits associated with dark chocolate.
Since chocolate subscriptions are available from a variety of chocolate distributors and makers, I wanted to ask Dino for their thoughts on what makes Kekao Box unique and to learn more about what helps them decide which bars to include.
Q:What helps you decide which craft and gourmet chocolate products you want to include in the box?
A: Quality is the most important aspect, we have chocolatiers who are the backbone of the company and their palates determine if we should include the bar in the box. They try a variety of bars each month, usually starts with a long list of what they have tried or new bars they discovered and its worked down to a short list of 3-5 bars to be featured. Another important factor is the packaging of the bars. Chocolate makers do a great job in packaging and marketing their products, each bar is wrapped differently and most have unique packaging that stands out. This is important for us because it brings an experience to the chocolate and our box.
Q: What sets you apart from other chocolate subscription services?
A: The craft chocolate bar scene is exploding and there are so many new makers coming up. We try to feature smaller craft chocolate makers in our boxes as well as your larger craft/gourmet makers. I don’t see this with other subscription boxes. It’s a difficult challenge as smaller craft makers have less production capabilities to fulfill larger orders. Our box typically features an International Bar, North American Bar (USA or CAD) and a smaller craft maker. We also try our best to make our box affordable at $29.99 per month. Most boxes run from $35 to $50, we did this to attract people who are not familiar with premium chocolate to get introduced. If you ask the average person what they think of a $6 or $10 chocolate bar they will be turned off and never experience the world of real chocolate! We are also the only box which delivers in both the USA and CAD!
Q: If you had to pick one chocolate maker or chocolate product that you rate the highest for quality, what would it be?
A: It’s hard to say, there are a lot of great makers now! I will say one of my favorite bars I recently eat is Askinosie Dark Chocolate Bar + Peanut Butter. I am a sucker for peanut butter haha, I don’t often see craft/gourmet makers incorporating it in their bars. (I agree with Dino that we need more craft chocolate bars with peanut butter!)
Q: Would you like to share anything else about Kekao that you would like everyone to know?
A: We want everyone to experience real chocolate from around the world. The first time I tried real authentic chocolate I was mesmerized. Our goal is to bring this experience to each months box. We really try our best to satisfy your dark chocolate craving with premium (real) chocolate from around the world.
Thank you to Dino for taking the time to answer some questions! Spending $29.99 per month for around 5 bars is definitely affordable compared to other chocolate subscriptions. Since craft and gourmet chocolate bars cost more due to being higher quality, 5 bars alone could lead up to costing about $50. I also appreciate that they try to feature not only well-known craft chocolate businesses but the small ones that could benefit from some extra growth.
The box I received had mostly 70% cocoa bars with one being 96%. I was already familiar with French Broad, Labooko and Raaka. The other two brands I had not tried were Posh Chocolat and Belú Cacao. I’ve seen Belú Cacao all over Instagram so I was very excited to finally try one of their bars! Posh Chocolat is a chocolatier and since my focus has been more on chocolate makers, it made sense why I wasn’t familiar with them.
The variety of inclusions and flavors in the box was very nice! The Belú Cacao and Labooko bars were plain, which is great for people who don’t like anything in their chocolate. I’ve noticed that sea salt is a popular inclusion for people who are brand new to craft chocolate and in this case the French Broad bar was 75% cacao + sea salt. The Posh Chocolat bar contained chili spices, another good flavor for people first trying craft chocolate who enjoy a spicy kick in their food. And finally the Raaka bar containing rose and cardamom was a great way to expose people to a very unique flavor combination that they might have never seen before in chocolate. I won’t be tasting all of the individual bars this time since I’ve tried most of the brands shared in this box, but I’m eager to open the Belú Cacao and the Rose & Cardamom Raaka bars.
If I think back on the time when I first started trying craft chocolate, a box like this would have been a great way to be exposed to a variety of chocolate makers and chocolatiers without breaking the bank. Since I’ve already been trying a variety of bars over the past couple of years, I would say this is more geared towards beginners to the craft and gourmet chocolate world rather than chocolate enthusiasts, but I’ll be keeping Kekao Box in mind for gifting purposes in the future! If you are interested in purchasing a Kekao box subscription for yourself or a loved one, you can purchase one through my referral link here and receive a discount.
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.