Author Archives: Tim Moley

  • Happy Mother's Day

    In the family I grew up in, one of our traditions was cooking breakfast for our mother on Mother’s Day. Reflecting back, even though as a boy I really didn't have the skills to cook, it was exciting that I was still given permission to try and make a breakfast for our mom. We would make a square meal breakfast and serve it on a tray along with coffee, cream, and sugar.

    Later in the day, we would give our mother some flowers (usually picked locally), a handmade card, and a box of chocolates. In retrospect, the chocolates were not that special. The kids all hovered around while Mom opened the box of chocolates and surveyed them. We waited as patiently as we could until she would pick one for herself and then hand out one chocolate for each of us.

    Over the years, as a child and a young man, I regularly helped my mother in the kitchen and in the process learned about cooking, tasting, and the joy of making food for others. One of my favorite things to make were chocolate chip cookies, because I got to sneak chocolate chips and eat cookie dough as I worked. I place Mother’s Day, and especially my mother, at the top of formative experiences that helped shape my ability to create and run a chocolate company.

    This Mother's Day, I hope you involve your children in cooking something for Mom. I am sure she will be quite happy.

  • New Wrapper Design, Same Great Chocolate!

    Chocolove has revised the wrapper design for all of our flavors. You may have seen some already.

    The impetus for the design change was that several leading retailers wanted Chocolove to continue being sold in their stores, but required that the wrapper display vertically. There were, however, a large number of reasons to retain a horizontal wrapper display, for those that wanted that option.  So to meet the needs of both vertical and horizontal displays, we designed a wrapper that is vertical on one side and horizontal on the other.

    The history of the wrapper design is that it evolved with various new product launches over the past 21 years. The original design was a collaboration between graphic designer Dave Shelton and myself.  Every 2 or 3 years, we rolled out a couple of new flavors and with them, a slightly different wrapper look each time.  The result was a line of 25 flavors with eight different looks.

    The current redesign attempts to gather the best elements of a number of previous design phases and standardize them into a more consistent look.  We will be making subtle adjustments over the course of the year.

    We are still a privately held, family run business.  The chocolate in most of our flavors are made from cocoa beans certified For Life.  We also continue to press forward with Non-GMO verification.

    A different look and more certifications, yet the same great tasting chocolate.

  • Website Under Construction

    Website. Construction zone.

    These two words or phrases seem out of place and disconnected, unless you work in customer service at Chocolove.

    I must say that we didn’t plan to build a website on the fly and have 20 things that needed fixing. We were forced to a new platform as our old license and software expired and was no longer supported with those all-important patches. Rest assured, we are in almost hourly dialogue with, and are gently bending, the website team to get it done and fix the bugs.

    If you have any need at all that is not being served by the website, call 1-888-246-2656, and we will do it the old fashioned way. Sort of like when the power goes out and you have to rely on candles and oil lamps--it can be kind of fun.

    We aim to "git 'er done" while we are all still having fun.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  • An Unexpected Gift at an Unexpected Time

    Finding Forrester is one of my favorite movies. Partly because I had a neighbor who was similar to Forrester, both in character and voice. My neighbor was a writer and at times, tried to teach me a thing or two about writing.

    The movie has a couple of scenes about giving and receiving. The phrase, "An unexpected gift at an unexpected time," is one that resonates with me. Over the years, I have had the joy of personally giving Chocolove to tens of thousands of people. I am not talking about the sale of Chocolove, but me actually handing another person a Chocolove bar. It really is a joy for me.

    While the holiday season may not be an unexpected time, perhaps Chocolove might be an unexpected gift to colleagues, co-workers, neighbors, your letter carrier, or any person who might find the gift unexpected.

    Happy gifting days.

  • Giving Thanks

    Thanks. Thank you. Those who know me and work with me know I say and write these words over 60 times a day. I give thanks every day I wake up and every evening as well. So it may come as no surprise that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

    On the surface I like it because I get to cook, feed people, eat, and share time with my larger family.  Quietly though, amidst the hustle and bustle, I am resonating with a lot of gratitude, even days before.

    One of the ways I give thanks is to consider what other people want. And when I say other people, I am mindful (or at least in my view), that we are not separate, but all connected like a family.

    I thank with doing as well as with words. This year I made some choices for the larger Chocolove family feast: to hold the line on flavor, product integrity, and price.  We actually reduced our wholesale list price nationwide and you were deservingly at the heart of that decision. By working both harder and smarter, we found a way to do it—as our way of saying thank you.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Fall

    Today the rain is falling gently… that slow, persistent cold rain; and with it, the leaves are falling too.  These two signs reveal that fall is here and winter is on the way.  Days like these remind me of hot chocolate - but not just any hot chocolate: hot Chocolove.  Yes, there is a difference.  Hot Chocolove is richer, thicker, and more filling; like drinking a chocolate bar.  You could use any Chocolove bar, but chips give a heartier, baked-brownie-type flavor.

    I will confide in you that for most of the cooking I do, I don’t follow a recipe, and after you make it a few times, you can arrive at your own proportions. Chocolove chips, milk and water are all you need.  I like to make hot Chocolove for others, so typically I have four espresso size cups on the counter.  I fill one with chips, two with milk, and one with water (you can use a measuring cup according to serving size and number of servings).  I pour the water and milk in a small sauce pan and place over heat, add in the chips, and whisk while bringing up to a boil.  I like to stop whisking before the boil and hold onto the pan handle and watch, then lift the pan as the chocolate boils. Let cool to a still hot but safe temperature.   Pour out a taste and serve yourself.  Here is where you then can decide if you want more water or more milk in your own personal recipe.

    I sometimes make it a little thicker if I have French bread on hand, so I can dip the bread in for a classic European treat.  Happy fall.Hot Chocolove

  • Chocolove's Beginnings

    Twenty years ago, I set up a trade show booth at a show called Expo East. I had worked since February of 1994 on research and development. In those 18 months, I had learned to taste chocolate like a professional wine taster, tea taster, and coffee taster, because indeed I had been training in all three types of tasting. However, to fully understand the chocolate taste took several months of daily tasting.

    Then I set about determining if our customer base could taste and would actually prefer the taste I had chosen. I did not presume my taste would work for them. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that almost all of the 120-member panel could indeed pick out a premium chocolate from the 10 other samples, and actually preferred it over lesser chocolate alternatives. So we had a winner: Belgian chocolate.

    Of the 120 panelists, I invited eight "super consumers" (people who had eaten a lot of different types of chocolate and ate chocolate regularly) to weigh in on the name and packaging. Several package designs were shown and the one chosen was the love letter. The envelope from afar, bearing delights for the heart, was deemed most consistent with the Chocolove experience. And the matching name was Chocolove.

    So on day one of Expo East 1995, I set up my booth and served Chocolove to the world. The response was a very excited set of show attendees and I had to hustle to keep samples on the plates. Over the years, I was a regular server at trade shows, often serving more than 7,000 people a show.

    Twenty years later we are making the same great taste. Thanks for your trust and thanks for the memories.

  • Chocolove's Motivation

    As you might imagine, there is a fair amount of lost sleep when managing an endeavor like Chocolove. Instead of counting sheep, I prefer to herd ideas, thoughts, and worries into their pens and close the gates on them for the night. In doing so, I see and count each item. Sometimes one is a straggler and is so cute as to warrant letting it run around a bit.

    Why do I work so hard and with such intent to get it all right? This is a thought that comes at times. Over the years, the answer has always been that somewhere, someone, or more correctly several someones, are happier because I went to work; or more specifically we at Chocolove went to work. This was the realization some 18 years ago, and it is still our motivation today.

    So the recent news story of a consumer buying a Chocolove bar for a Pennsylvania man in need of a little compassion, resonates well with us. That Pennsylvania man now seeks out the good samaritan to thank her. And to the lady who expressed her compassion with a Chocolove bar, I too want to thank her, and all of us at Chocolove thank her as well. Intentional acts of compassion bolster our resolve to hold the line on taste and quality. We smile a little more as we work, knowing that with each Chocolove bar we make, someone, somewhere is having a better day.

  • Chocolove: Sustainable, Socially Responsible, and Ethical

    Last week, Chocolove had our third annual IMO For Life inspection. We received a score of 115 out of 100. It’s always nice to score higher than 100; however, we are expected by IMO to do better each year and we are already working toward this goal.

    One of the reasons that we choose the IMO For Life program is because they actually inspect our factory in Boulder, Colorado. This annual inspection keeps us truly focused on the mission. Out of incisive inspections and positive feedback, we can see ourselves clearer and are encouraged to do even better for all of our supply chain and customers.

    Another reason that we like IMO’s For Life program is its full traceability from our factory to the farmer; unlike other certification programs that rely on “mass balance” principles. Mass balance is a kind of carbon credit for sustainability, but we prefer the integrity of buying the beans directly from the farmers in the program.

    On almost all of the items that we sell, Chocolove’s IMO For Life certified content increased to the level of “all of the cocoa bean derived ingredients in this chocolate are certified For Life.” You will find this statement and higher content on some products now, and will see this revised claim on the rest of our items as packaging changes and product moves through distributors to stores.

    Thank you for your support of Chocolove as we make this positive transition.

  • Chocolove Price Reduction

    Chocolove is pleased to announce a price change effective July 1, 2015.

    The price reduction is a result of Chocolove securing lower cocoa costs for the next two years, in addition to the foreign exchange rate for dollars improving considerably.

    We achieved cost savings without reducing quality or piece weight, and increased certified sustainable and non-gmo content.  While our primary goal is to deliver the most satisfying chocolate possible, we also believe part of that satisfaction comes from a fair price.

    We are now working with retail stores to get the new lower prices implemented on the shelf.

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