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4 Pro Tips On Buying Holiday Chocolate Early

Posted by Matt Weyandt on
4 Pro Tips On Buying Holiday Chocolate Early

This Is The Best Time To Get Started
And today we're giving you insider info to help out.


You've already heard the warnings on the radio: global supply chain disruptions resulting in humongous loads of holiday goods that may not make it to store shelves in time; businesses unable to find enough employees to help them through the seasonal madness that is holiday shopping; delivery times are expected to be much slower this year.
 
As a small business owner (but also as someone who typically doesn’t start my own shopping until about December 20th), I can tell you we are doing things very differently this year in order to stay stocked, sane, and service-oriented (ultimately, our most important goal).
 
This week, we opened our online holiday store instead of waiting until after Thanksgiving like we usually do, to give you the opportunity to get started. We set the store up with a Gift Guide based on budget and types of chocolates in order to streamline your shopping. And because this might be earlier than you normally start buying chocolate for the chocolate-lovers and foodies on your list, we’re sharing with you our most sincere tips to make gifting chocolate as easy as possible.

4 Tips for Buying Holiday Chocolate

Tip 1: Chocolate Storage & Freshness

We’ve noticed a lot of folks buy their chocolate gifts as close to the holidays as possible because they’re worried about how to store the chocolate before gifting it. I’m here to tell you the secret of chocolate storage: keep it at room temperature, away from sunlight and direct heat, and in a non-humid environment. Basically, the shelf in your closet or wherever it is you hide away your gifts.

I’ll share the physics and chemistry of chocolate-making in a later post, but in a nutshell, the cold and humid environment inside your refrigerator (where we hear a lot of people keep their chocolate bars) will harden the texture of your chocolate. Once super hard, the chocolate takes on a brittle, chewy texture and you lose most of the fine flavor qualities of the chocolate that you’re paying for.

If you’re worried about the chocolate melting over the next couple of weeks, I promise you, unless you consistently crank your home heat past 80 F, it won’t. Any dry, dark place in your home this winter (but not in front of a heating vent) is the perfect place to store your gifts.

And chocolate shelf-life? Rest easy, not only does our chocolate have a 12 month shelf-life, it’s never more than a couple of weeks old before you buy it because our batches are small and sell rapidly.  

When you check the “best by” date, you can calculate the day it was made by just subtracting exactly a year. When you look, you’ll find it’s just a baby bar, newly created and full of life.

 

Tip 2: Gift Ship Chocolate To Others

We know this year many of us still aren’t going to see all of our family and friends face-to-face over the holidays and will need to rely on shipping gifts directly from stores to our loved ones.

If you were like me and relied on that big e-commerce giant (ya know who I mean) more than normal last year, you might remember how the gifts arrived—knocking around in overly large shipping boxes or “gift wrapped” in those weird fabric bags with a gift note printed on a square of receipt paper. And if you shopped early, you didn’t know if your recipient would open the box prematurely by mistake or if they just set the whole shipping box under their tree or on the table.



So if you want beautiful, here’s my 2nd tip—let us ship your gifts directly to the people on your list. We have an order fulfillment team already packing gift boxes, hand-writing gift notes and carefully shipping them out. Some of our gift sets come automatically in a gift box or you can add gift boxing to your order. We’ll make sure your gift arrives beautifully wrapped and with your note included.

If you want it to arrive right before the holidays, your best bet is to go ahead and order now and tell us in the “order notes” section when you want it to arrive. We’ll hold your gift and send it out so that it arrives by that date. You’ll receive a notification when it ships.

 

Tip 3: Buy In Multiples To Save Money and Time

If time is money and money is money, you probably want to save a little of both—especially if your list is long. While we don’t usually spell it out like this, I’ll let you know that when we create our 3 bar and 5 bar sets, we build in a 6% discount off buying the bars individually.

Whether you’re buying for coaches, teachers, co-workers, clients or just loads and loads of siblings, this discount was created to simplify buying several sets. Choose to gift them as full Trios or Quintets or split them apart to gift individual bars. And if you’re having us ship them directly, we configured our website so that you can ship to multiple addresses from the same order instead of creating multiple carts.

Have a huge list and would like more of a discount? If you’re buying in bulk, especially for clients, just email Joann at sales@xocolatlchocolate.com and she’ll help you place a bulk order when you’re buying for loads and loads of people.

Want to include more than just bars? We’ve also curated several other gift sets so you don’t have to spend a lot of time choosing individual items, like my new favorite, this Sweet Lil’ Sampler. Gift sets are organized in our online Holiday Gift Guide by budget to save you a little more time and money.


Tip 4: Chocolate Makes An Awesome Host Gift

Every host loves a bottle of wine, but how often do they receive dark chocolate? Save yourself multiple runs to the store this holiday season and stock up on chocolate to give out at every party or gathering this season. Just remember to keep your stash of chocolate in a dry, room temperature spot and save yourself a little moolah by buying in multiples.

Maybe it’s a potluck you’re attending or you’ve been assigned dessert for Thanksgiving. With our handsomely wrapped dark chocolate bars, peppermint bark and other treats, you can stock up now and avoid the rush to the grocery store this season. Check out this spread we love from @ashleyeatsatlanta.

And finally, a super insider tip: please do yourself a favor and shop early this year. Even if you’re a last-minute shopper (as I usually am) and like that special combo of adrenaline, stress and optimistic-promises-to-self that you’ll do it better next year that you might feel every December, this year is shaping up to be different. Things are running out, small businesses are still stretched to fill open seasonal positions, and deliveries will arrive late if they’re not initiated in advance.
 
Whether you buy chocolate from us this season or whether you are looking for different options, please support small, independent businesses local to you or to your recipients. If they’re small, chances are they make what they sell and have it in hand instead of sourcing from across the ocean; if they’re local, chances are shipping times are shorter and use less carbon; if they’re independent, chances are they’re looking out for their employees and their families.
 
Those are our tips—hope they are helpful to you. Go ahead—knock out a chunk of your list. And if that’s in chocolate, we’re ready for you!
 
In chocolate + cheer,

Elaine + Matt

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