Few industries have as powerful a discovery mechanic as music enjoys with radio DJs, mix tapes and now playlists. How else do you first come across a new band, a new album, a new song?
Before the internet had come up with the “Viral Marketing” the cool kids were doing this for music via mix tapes in the school yard and now via playlist recommendations on streaming services. But above all it was radio and DJs. Say what you like about the BBC, but Radio 1’s dominance of pop radio and its commitment to playing new music are key forces in explaining why the UK has so many great artists and new music.
This concept of DJs and discovery is the bedrock of Cocoa Runners (Simon and Spencer had worked together before at a music label…). It is all too easy to be swamped by the amazing choice of new makers, beans and bars. Sadly, all too often, many of us are overwhelmed and revert to “what’s on special offer this weekend”.
This is a real shame. It’s like listening to the same handful of songs all the time. Relying on what’s on offer means missing an opportunity to taste, and indeed to do, something amazing, as craft chocolate tastes so much better, is better for you and better for farmers and the planet.
So to help you discover great new bars we launched the Cocoa Runners monthly subscription box.
For the last seven years we’ve kept our promise to bring you each month four different bars, along with tasting notes, that are the best craft chocolate bars that we can find (and we only charge £19.95 plus P&P, ship all over the world and offer a 10% off any bars that subscribers enjoy in their box).
We also love inviting other people to become Chocolate DJs and to share their favourite Craft Chocolate Bars.
In our new Craft Chocolate Conversations we are taking this a step further. We’ve invited World Barista Coffee Champions, Bakers, Philosophers, Novelists, Environmentalists, Wine Journalists, Scientists, and more to explore their lives and work via their favourite Craft Chocolate bars. See below and here for more details. And yes, we’ve borrowed this idea from Radio (cf Desert Island Discs).
Above and beyond this we were thrilled and honoured when Annalisa Barbieri of the Observer suggested building and DJing her own personal introduction to Craft Chocolate.
Annalisa is awesome. Not only is she the Observer’s chocolate correspondent but she writes an incredibly insightful advice column in the Guardian’s Saturday Weekend Magazine where the comments and discussion generate literally pages of discussion.
Needless to say the box she’s assembled is amazing. Impressively, Annalisa managed to choose one of the very few bars that went on two weeks later to win three stars in the Great Taste Awards (Tosier’s Colombian Coffee bar). And she single-handedly reintroduced the UK to the delights of Pralus’ Barre Infernale (truly the perfect pudding substitute for any lunch or dinner). See below for more details.
The five bars, which JUST fit into one of our standard boxes, were launched a couple of weeks ago (see here) at £37.95 (instead of the £44.05 you’d pay by buying the bars individually). We also ran a special 10% discount for Observer readers until the end of the September along with a £3 contribution to Camfed (a charity she selected) for the first hundred boxes we sold. (Note – neither Annalisa, nor the Observer, receive any money from this box.)
We are now extending this offer for our readers for the next two weeks – please use code ABOCT. Note: it’s been hard to keep in stock, so bear with us if it takes a little longer than the super fast speed Char, Karl and Wayne normally pick, pack and dispatch. (And Parcelforce haven’t helped by losing a replenishment stock order!)
Once this coupon expires (Oct 15th), we’ll take 10% of all sale proceeds and donate this to Camfed for the holiday season.
So please treat yourself. And do join a (free) Craft Chocolate in Conversation here.
As ever, thanks for your support,
Spencer, Simon, Lizzie and Harmony
P.S. We’ve just received a (small) parcel of short-dated white chocolate from Bertil Akesson, so for any white chocolate aficionados, please do check out our White Lucky Dip boxes.