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Chocolate for the monied masses

The Washington Post has an article on the marketing of luxury chocolates.. On one hand, I'm happy with this trend since it leads to a lot of good chocolate being easily available. One the other hand, most of the luxury chocolates are over-priced and over-hyped, and taste excessively sweet. There are some that I do love, ridiculous price and all -- Vosges' chocolate bars come to mind. They are a wonderful balance of some very sense-ational flavors. However, some of the others, including Dove and Godiva, I find to be not so special seeing as they tend to emphasize sweetness over the taste of cocoa. It's the inherent weakness in mass marketing to the bourgeoise -- you tend to have to compromise down to the level of the Lowest Common Denominator (and no, mass marketing luxury chocolates is not a contradiction, just capitalism in action). In America, with chocolate, that means more sugar and less cocoa.

Even worse, IMO, than the perpetuation of the shoddy, sugary sweet version of chocolate is the fact that none of these luxury chocolate makers feel the need to use organic, sustainable or Fair Trade certified cocoa. If you are going to go for the bourgeois market and charge accordingly, at least put some of that money into ensuring that you are offering a product to your customers that everyone can feel good about!

Leaving aside such social and moral considerations, I would also be interested in knowing what cocoa varietals the luxury chocolates are being made from. I wonder if the vendors are going to the trouble and expense of using Criollo varietals or whether the luxury chocolates are being made from the same varietals as their poorer cousins.

Comments

As a fair trade chocolate fan, maybe you'd be interested in the Starbucks Challenge?

Have a look at my sister-in-laws website her sweets are out of this world...

http://www.motherruckers.com/

I just got this by email---
Seems like another luxury chocolate joint.

CHOCOLATE BAR
2005 HOLIDAY COLLECTION
PUNK ROCK, MOD FASHION & GRAPHIC DESIGN

WINNER OF 2 CITYSEARCH 2005 AWARDS
“BEST WEST VILLAGE SHOPPING”
“BEST GOURMET STORE”

TIMEOUT NEW YORK EAT OUT AWARD WINNER:
CHOCOLATE BAR: "BEST CHOCOLATE STORE"

NOW SCHEDULING APPOINTMENTS WITH
CHOCOLATE BAR OWNER, ALISON NELSON
PRESS CONTACT 212. 645. 8006

USA- Make your holidays sweet. Give more chocolate. Chocolate Bar delivers this holidays most delectable treats with grown-up flair. Give more than Gelt this Hanukkah! Chocolate Bar's Retro Bars and Artist Bars are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. The Retro Bar Set ($22) even has 8 bars- one for each day of Hanukkah-and comes packaged in a reusable glossy orange pencil box tied with a box in flavors like Peanut Butter Caramel, Malted Milk, Salty Pretzel, Key Lime Pie and Raspberry Jam. This years Holiday truffles include mouth-water flavors such as Candy Cane (white chocolate ganache infused with mint and dusted with crushed candy cane), Blazing Hearts (white chocolate infused with passion fruit and air brushed with red and gold cocoa butter), Ebene (bittersweet 72% ganache), Armagnac (bittersweet ganache infused with aged French armagnac) and Irish Breakfast (bittersweet ganache infused with Irish breakfast tea). Truffle box sizes include 6 piece ($8,10), 12 piece ($16.20), 24 piece ($29.50) and 48 piece ($59). Additional Holiday collections also include Chocolate Holiday a 6 piece holiday truffle box, 1 dark chocolate peppermint tablet, 1 milk chocolate snowman and 2 Retro Bars ($25); Chocolate Therapy perfect for consumption after mass holiday shipping, featuring 1 box each of the boutiques signature teas including Chocolate Bar Tea, Chocolate Peppermint Patty Tea, 1 mocha candle, 1 choco-mint candle, 1 signature Milk and Bittersweet chocolate bars, 1 jar of Tupelo honey and 1 box of tea sleeves ($60); Ultra Dark Signature Set featuring three of their darkest blends including 72% Super Dark, 84% Ultra Dark and 99% Pure Dark Cacao solid bars packed in a gift box. For gifts that remain after the chocolate has disappeared consider the Jonathan Adler exclusively designed Chocolate Bowl Gift Set featuring a box of classic and spicy hot chocolate ($60) or Jonathan Adler's exclusively designed Fondue for Two Set which includes 1 fondue pot, 2 signature chocolate bars for melting, a recipe card,forks and a tea light ($75); Thinking stocking stuffers? Consider Chocolate Bar peppermint tablets in milk or dark chocolate ($7), solid chocolate snowmen in milk or dark chocolate ($6) or chocolate covered caramel corn ($5.50). Order by December 22nd for delivery in time for Christmas or Hanukkah.

To inquire about Wholesale, Mini Bar, Wedding Favors and Corporate Gifts please contact info@chocolatebarnyc.com. Chocolate Bar is located at 48 Eighth Avenue between Horatio and Jane Streets. Consumers can order product for delivery anywhere in the U.S. by calling 1.800.481.2462 or by visiting www.chocolatebarnyc.com. Click on "more info" below to take a peek inside to see what sweet treats make your mouth water. Press please contact Workhouse Publicity's Colette Prosper directly by telephone 212. 645. 8006 or via email colette@workhousepr.com

In the heart of New York's West Village sits a small storefront that has started a mini-revolution among chocolate lovers. Chocolate Bar, a cozy but cosmopolitan sweet ship has broken chocolate out of its stuffy Valentine mold and inspired the notion that this cherished treat can be fun, unfussy and possess more than a dash of decadence. Fully devoted to reviving the nostalgia-influenced confections that once graced the tables of the World's Fair, Automats, Boardwalks and dime-store candy shops, carnivals and diners of yesteryear, Chocolate Bar continues to churn out retro-reconfigured favorites using only the freshest ingredients and highest quality. This holiday season , the future is now and chocolate is the life of the party! Not a substance to be treated with reserve, it's a slightly sweet-bitter-caffeinated, completely legal party enhancer. It's serious brew. All aspects of youth culture, from punk rock to mod fashion, luxury and graphic design are prevalent in this season's provocative collection. At Chocolate Bar, the world of cosmopolitan cocoa is filled with swinging sugar soiree's and perfect chocolate martini's. Winner of 2 Citysearch 2005 Awards including “Best West Village Shopping” and “Best Gourmet Store”, the 2004 TimeOut New York Eat Out Award for "Best Chocolate Store" and declared the "Sweetest of the Sweet" by the NY Daily News as the winner in a blind taste test where ten holiday samplers were critiqued for presentation and taste by four top pastry chefs who rated the competition.

Chocolate Bar Artist Bars
Chocolate Bar and Yoyamart have collaborated to create a new line of choc-o-graphic Artist Bars to debut this November 2005.Ten designers including Gary Baseman, Nathan Jurevicious, David Horvath, Sun-Min Kim, Rolito, Toy2R, Friends With You, Tim Biskup, Dalek and J.D. Boujnah have created labels for an array of new products of which a portion of the proceeds will go to Third Street Music Settlement. Each Artist Bar weighs an impressive 2.25 ounces and is filled with classic treats enrobed in the finest gourmet chocolate. New bar flavors include Milk Chocolate, Bittersweet, Crispy Rice, Dark Chocolate with Almonds, Dark Chocolate with Mint, Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts, Dark Chocolate Espresso and the boutiques old favorite Salty Pretzel. Yoyamart was adopted in the trendy Meat-Packing District of New York City in January, 2004. Conceived by businessman Stephane Gerbier, graphic designer J.D. Boujnah, and Gena and Cristina, their respective wives, the team noticed that there were differences in the way men and women shopped for their children. Yoyamart was designed essentially as a store for ‘fathers by fathers’. For more information please visit www.yoyamart.com. Sold as a collection in a “gallery box”. To inquire about pre-orders please call 800.481.2462 or email info@chocolatebarnyc.com

Chocolate Bar Movie Line
Available in 2006, Chocolate Bar will produce a gourmet Movie Line available in cinema's across the country and at those who currently carry the boutiques successful Retro Bar line. Bringing back colossal flavors from era's bygone, discover pure nostalgia with atomic creations like malted milk balls, chocolate covered caramel, chocolate covered cherries, chocolate covered peanuts and chocolate mints. Inspired by the gooey refreshments found at your local drive-in, each Movie Line treat is offered in Chocolate Bar's award-winning "modern-nostalgia" packaging. To inquire about pre-orders please call 800.481.2462 or email info@chocolatebarnyc.com

Chocolate Bar Lifestyle
Chocolate Bar restores social culture with the creation of an old-school thermos- perfect for toting one of the boutiques hot liquid concoctions. To compliment the Chocolate Bar lifestyle a host of new t-shirts will be available starting October, 2005. Each shirt has been carefully tested for the serious chocolate aficionado without alienating the occasional enthusiast. Made in small batches, shirts are produced without additives or preservatives. A rich collection of new aromatic fragrances can be found in Chocolate Bar’s 2006 Candle Collection. A carefully selected blend of delicious ingredients will be added to the boutiques Mocha and Peppermint Chip flavors. Encased in alluring gift tins, each invites you to “Eat More Chocolate” while gaining none of the calories! Hand-poured, lead-free and unbleached with 100% cotton wicks. To inquire about pre-orders please call 800.481.2462 or email info@chocolatebarnyc.com

Chocolate Weekends
Chocolate Bar is getting out of town! Leave your work, formal dress and diets at home and take a long chocolate weekend at the shore. Chocolate should never be stuffy but always mildly sinful. As a tribute to this philosophy, Alison Nelson, founder and owner of Chocolate Bar and co-author of Chocolate Bar: Recipes & Entertaining Ideas for Living the Sweet Life shows you how to charge up your palate and appreciate the full range of chocolate choices from the luscious of darks to the creamiest of milks, all while creating a fabulous, chocolate-centered lifestyle. From chocolate fondues, moles, sundaes, brownies and cookies Nelson throws a swinging sugar soiree on Friday night followed by 2 days of baking, tasting, eating & relaxing at one of New Jersey’s finest Victorian Bed & Breakfasts.

Alison Nelson’s chocolate class features truffle making and cake baking on Saturday afternoons where she shares her abiding affection for confection through witty observations, delectable recipes and good old-fashion fun. Like a kid in a candy store, Nelson will inspire you to experiment. Learn how to mix the perfect chocolate martini or go retro and indulge your craving for old-fashioned chocolate egg creams garnished with a nostalgic bit of saltwater taffy. Honor tradition by baking classic favorites like Deep, Dark Brownies or Red Velvet Cakes. Afterwards, draw a chocolate bath. Nelson offers recipe revolutions for everything from Lime Brownies and Chocolate Gelatin to Spiced Chocolate Meatballs guiding you through a host of “retro reconfigured” recipes for at home entertaining. From baking, drinking, dining and entertaining, here is a weekend dedicated to everyone's favorite sweet treat.

ChocolateBar Chocolate Weekends include fresh muffins, fruit & coffee delivered to your door at 8am each morning followed by a full chocolate brunch. Take Saturday evening to yourselves and discover the areas bars, restaurants and amusement park all within walking distance- go for a bike ride -or enjoy an evening stroll on the beach. After two days of pampering, sleep in on Sunday. Share goody bags with friends at home or eat them yourselves as you hit the Turnpike. Special holiday-oriented baking and chocolate making occurs on weekends coinciding with Halloween, Christmas, Hannukah & Valentine’s Day. Chocolate weekends begin October 28th – October 30th,2005. Cost per couple: $600.00

Chocolate Weekends Schedule
Friday
8pm: Cocktail party & chocolate tasting
Saturday
10am: Chocolate brunch
1pm: Baking class- truffles and classic chocolate cake
5pm: Wine, cheese and the freshly baked goods
Sunday
10am: Chocolate Brunch
1pm: Baking class: brownies & cookies

Chocolate Weekend Dates:
November 4th – 6th
November 18th – 20th
December 2nd – 4th
December 9th – 11th
December 16th – 18th
**Special holiday cooking classes during December
January 6th – 8th
January 20th – 22nd
February 10th – 12th – Celebrate Valentine’s Day!
February 17th – 19th - Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Wedding Favors
Chocolate Bar invites you to give the gift of romance with Wedding Favors designed as traditional keepsakes in remembrance of that special union. Chocolate Bar's Wedding Sets are each showcased in elegant white favor boxes, custom-filled with any two truffles or six piece boxes wrapped in the ribbon of your choice ($4.25 per 2 piece box, $8.10 per six piece box). The boutique can also customize the top of each individual truffle with your logo or short message (prices vary). The store offers discounts for orders placed over 100 boxes. Chosen by the NY Daily News as the winner in a blind taste test and declared the "sweetest of the sweet", ten holiday samplers were critiqued for presentation and taste by four top pastry chefs who rated the competition. For more information please contact 800.481.2462 or email info@chocolatebarnyc.com

Chocolate Bar 2005 Confections
*Now available, to place an order call 800.481.2462 or email info@chocolatebarnyc.com
CBGB Collection: Chocolate Bar, in collaboration with Hilly Kristal unveils two edible lines of CBGB products including the CBGB Punk Rock Box ($25.00); a 16 piece truffle collection embossed with the pioneering history and iconic imagery of CBGBs illustrious music scene. Served in a chocolate brown box, hot-stamped with the venues famed logo, it comes complete with a postage-paid petition to save CBGB, a record-shaped biography, steel logo keychain and a collection of CBGB stickers. CBGB Retro Bars ($3.00 each); Inspired by those colossal flavors from late-night, post-show snack attacks, discover pure 1970 nostalgia with two new retro flavors. Each is wrapped in a limited-edition CBGB keepsake, weighs an impressive 2.25 ounces and comes complete with a postage-paid petition to save the venerable venue.
Signature Bar Set Our complete collection of Signature Chocolate Bars. Each contains 4oz. of the highest quality chocolate infused with all natural flavors. 1 each of our signature bars: milk, bittersweet, 72%, orange dark, mint dark, coffee and white.$44.00.

Super Dark 72% for the chocolate purist it rarely gets more pure or dark than this-Two varietal chocolates crafted with 72% cacao for a superior dark chocolatetreat
Orange Dark a mixture of the finest bittersweet chocolate mixed with a twist of orange essence
Mint Dark sumptuous bittersweet chocolate infused with refreshingmint
Café con Leche rich coffee perfectly blended with milk chocolate- you can actually taste flakes of coffee
Milk Chocolate a sweet and smooth concentration of delicate Belgian milk chocolate
Bittersweet a blend of intense flavor combinations made with 60% cacao
White A royal treatment of silky, smooth chocolate optimally suited for delivering soft, all-natural, creamy flavor infused with a touch of lemon.

Retro Bar Set- Flashback! Bringing back colossal flavors from era's bygone, discover pure nostalgia with four fabulous flavors like Key Lime Pie, Caramel Apple, Raspberry Jam and Salted Pretzel. Inspired by the creativity of boardwalk candy stores, the gentility of your local soda shop and gooey refreshments found at the local State Fair, each Retro Bar weighs an impressive 2.25 ounces and is filled with classic crème flavors enrobed in the finest gourmet chocolate. New retro flavors include Salted Pretzel bite-sized bits of salted pretzel in milk chocolate, Caramel Apple the Chocolate Bar version of the coveted caramel apple on a stick, Key Lime Pie a slice of key lime pie wrapped in dark chocolate, Raspberry Jam two classic schoolyard flavors combined into one perfect bar. 6 different bars included within a stunning orange pencil box $18.00
Chocolate Bar’s Chocolate Bowl – a Jonathan Adler designed bowl for eating or drinking your favorite chocolate treats. $40.00
Chocolate Bar: Recipe & Entertaining Ideas for Living the Sweet Life: Winner of the 2004 Gourmand World Cookbook Award.
Chocolate Bar: Recipes and Entertaining Ideas for Living the Sweet Life (Running Press Book Publishers) Chocolate should never be stuffy but always mildly sinful. As a tribute to this philosophy, co-author Alison Nelson, owner of New York City's Chocolate Barshow you how to charge up your palate and appreciate the full range of chocolate choices from the luscious of darks to the creamiest of milks, all while creating a fabulous, chocolate-centered lifestyle. From chocolate fondues, moles, sundaes, brownies and cookies Chocolate Bar :Recipes and Entertaining Ideas For Living the Sweet Life (Running Press, Nov. 2004) will show you how to shake your bon bon while achieving swank affairs of style. From baking, drinking, dining and entertaining, here is a style manual dedicated to everyone's favorite sweet treat. Like a kid in a candy store, Chocolate Bar will inspire you to experiment. Learn how to throw a swinging sugar soiree, design decadent tasting events and mix the perfect chocolate martini. Or go retro and indulge your craving for old-fashioned chocolate egg creams garnished with a nostalgic bit of saltwater taffy. Honor tradition by baking classic favorites like Deep, Dark Brownies or Red Velvet Cakes. Afterwards, draw a chocolate bath. Chocolate Bar offers recipe revolutions for everything from Lime Brownies and Chocolate Gelatin to Spiced Chocolate Meatballs. Breaking the mold, Chocolate Bar provides a full resource guide including a chronicle of “retro reconfigured” recipes for at home entertaining allowing readers an opportunity to pull off their own stylish celebrations while truly enjoying a mouth full of chocolate. With Chocolate Bar, Alison Nelson shares her abiding affection for confection through witty observations, delectable recipes and good old-fashion fun. Offering a rare glimpse into the inspirations and experiences behind Manhattan's candy store for grown-ups, Chocolate Bar juxtaposes American candy store nostalgia through innovative design and the modern lifestyle. A whimsical look at the world of cosmopolitan cocoa, Chocolate Bar is the perfect compliment to any chocolate occasion. $24. 95
Retro Bars- Flashback! Bringing back colossal flavors from era's bygone, discover pure nostalgia with four fabulous flavors like Key Lime Pie, Caramel Apple, Raspberry Jam and Salted Pretzel.Inspired by the creativity of boardwalk candy stores, the gentility of your local soda shop and gooey refreshments found at the local State Fair, each Retro Bar weighs an impressive 2.25 ounces and is filled with classic crème flavors enrobed in the finest gourmet chocolate. New retro flavors include Salted Pretzel bite-sized bits of salted pretzel in milk chocolate, Caramel Apple the Chocolate Bar version of the coveted caramel apple on a stick, Key Lime Pie a slice of key lime pie wrapped in dark chocolate, Raspberry Jam two classic schoolyard flavors combined into one perfect bar. $3.00 each
Black & Whites- Delectable jewel toned confections made of mouth-watering homemade marshmallow, graham and caramel enrobed in chocolate. $5.00
Elvis- Delectable jewel toned confections made of mouth-watering banana marshmallow and crunchy peanut butter enrobed in dark chocolate $5.00
PB&J –Delectable jewel toned confections made of mouth-watering peanut butter and jelly enrobed in dark chocolate $5.00
Chocolate Fashions- A signature line of Chocolate Fashion T-shirts. These one-of-a-kind T-shirts are available for both men and women through their West Village boutique or website. Each shirt has been carefully tested for the serious chocolate aficionado without alienating the occasional enthusiast. Made in small batches, each shirt is produced without additives or preservatives. $15 each, $20 for long sleeves Showcasing sass and style, new chocolate fashions include:

Chocolate Boy available in small, medium or large in brown or white colors for a superior chocolate treat. Available in both short and long sleeves
Chocolate Girl available in small, medium or large in orange or white colors for the finest chocolate sensation. Available in both short and long sleeves
Hot Chocolate available in small, medium or large in brown for finest chocolate sensation. Available in shortsleeves
Bittersweet available in small, medium or large in brown for a superior chocolate treat. Available in short sleeves
Rock & Roll limited-edition Chocolate Bar T-shirt honoring CBGB available in short sleeves

Chocolate Bar Tote: Carry your chocolate! This hand-dyed canvas tote was designed exclusively for Chocolate Bar by Jonathan Adler and is perfect for toting your notebook and your favorite chocolate bars. W 9”, H 12” D 2” $40
Chocolate Bar Candles: Chocolate Bar’s Mocha and Peppermint Chip Candles invite you to “Eat More Chocolate” while gaining none of the calories! Soy wax and hemp oil candles in Mocha or Peppermint Chip fragrances. Each is hand-poured, lead-free and unbleached with 100% cotton wicks. $9.50

Chocolate Bar
Winner of the 2004 Timeout New York Eat Award for “Best Chocolate Store”, Chocolate Bar is a candy store for grown-ups offering cosmopolitan luxury through old-fashioned collections and unique inspirations. Incorporating style, comfort and classic New York treats, Chocolate Bar features sweets by New York's Jacques Torres, SweetBliss and Garrison Confections along with a signature line of nostalgia-influenced chocolate bars. The boutique's dazzling menu includes authentic New York Egg Creams, coffee by Gimme Coffee, fine teas by Serendipitea, four kinds of iced and hot chocolates and pastries by the City's best bakers. Decadent confections are available for everything from Corporate gifts to personalized wedding and party favors. Online orders are available through Chocolate Bar's dynamic web site which allows visitors to order a host of scrumptious items including truffles, chocolate bars, hot chocolate, tea and more. Chocolate Bar is located at 48 Eighth Avenue between Jane and Horatio streets in New York's West Village and since the store's opening in May, 2002, the concept has become extremely popular with sweet lovers of all ages. Created, designed and operated by AlisonNelson. For more information please visit www.chocolatebarnyc.com

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