Review: chocolate delivery services

Cococlectic Bean-to-Bar Box

Cococlectic box with Cao Chocolates

I lived in New York City for 12 years… and in New York, everything you can imagine can be delivered to your doorstep at any time, day or night. Online delivery services were such a staple of my life (breakfast delivery, dry cleaning delivery, grocery delivery) that the absence of even decent restaurant delivery services here (Seamless, get your act together!) made my move to D.C. more traumatic than it should have been.

But recently I discovered the holy grail of online delivery services: craft chocolate delivery. Several new companies are now providing chocoholics everywhere with doorstep delivery of hard-to-find, small-batch bars from craft chocolate makers all over the world.

I immediately signed up for two: Cococlectic and Cocoa Runners. Here’s what my experience has been like so far.

Cococlectic is a San Francisco based company that markets itself as a “craft bean-to-bar club.” Members receive four different bars of dark chocolate from one chocolate maker each month, with prices starting at $35.99 for one shipment (which comes with a $20 gift certificate towards a monthly subscription plan).

  • Cococlectic is for pure dark chocolate lovers only! They currently don’t provide the option of receiving milk chocolate or chocolate bars with stuff in them (inclusions).

    Cao Single Origin Chocolates
    Cao Single Origin Chocolates
  • They’re marketing themselves as a way for curious chocolate connoisseurs to find out about new, little-known or hard-to-find American craft chocolate makers. They do the leg-work and vetting, providing customers with a curated selection of bars.
  • The cost is reasonable, and I like being able to buy a no-strings-attached gift box without committing to a monthly subscription.
  • My gift box came VERY fast (in just a couple of days) and included four bars of different single origin chocolates from one chocolate maker: Cao Chocolates, from Miami, Florida. Since I’d never heard of Cao, Cococlectic did deliver on its promise of introducing me to a new chocolate maker that I probably wouldn’t have found on my own.

Cocoa Runners is a UK based company that delivers globally. Cocoa Runners costs about the same as Cococlectic (~$30 a month, plus a ~$5 shipping fee if you live outside the UK).

  • Unlike Cococlectic, Cocoa Runners doesn’t seem to provide the option to buy a single box… it appears you have to sign up for a monthly subscription to receive your first shipment. However, their subscriptions are cancellable at any time, so it’s not much of a commitment.
  • Cocoa Runners is more customizable: you can choose to receive either a mix of dark and milk chocolate, or only dark chocolate (they carry dark milk chocolate, which I adore, so I was very tempted to check the “milk chocolate” box). And when you sign up, Cocoa Runners will even ask you about your preferences for inclusions — do you like chocolate with nibs? berries? bacon?
  • Unlike Cococlectic, Cocoa Runners appears to provide customers with bars from multiple chocolate makers in each shipment.
  • Shipment is a tad slower than Cococlectic. Cocoa Runners ships the third week of each month, so I haven’t received my first box yet. But I’ll let you know what’s in it when it arrives.