Chocosphere®
Fine Chocolates from Around the World since 1998
Phone calls welcome: 503‑692‑3323

choco-logoThe Chocospherian

Incredible Chocolate News

January 2016

Written By: Joanne Kryszek, Chocosphere Co-Founder and Chocolate Goddess

What’s New? Customer Service
Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deal… Bargain Basement
Who are we?… Newsletter
  Recipe Corner

What’s New

Pura Delizia  is here from Italy and we are so glad to have it.  This family-owned Italian chocolate maker is definitely doing something right!  Our sixth Italian brand produces five dark origin bars, one milk bar and if you need portion control the same chocolate comes in a small 10 gram size.  You will just have to try this wonderful new brand.  It is smooth and flavorful. Among the offerings is their Vietnam origin bar, which we feel is amazing!

Galler is back!!!  After a long period of absence, we now have a wider range of Galler's Belgian Chocolate products.  Included in the offering are some classics you may remember from the past like their various filled chocolate bars, tubes of praline-filled chocolates, and solid 70% and 85% dark bars.  We've also added some excellent new flavors including a dark bar with lime and mint (really yummy) and white bar with raspberry and yogurt.  Of course, we had to bring back the Cat's Chocolates, individually-wrapped cute little chocolate cat faces with their tongues sticking out.

Domori Vidama Costa d'Avorio (Ivory Coast) comes in dark 60% and 66% suitable for enrobing, 68% for ganache and a milk 38%.  Domori did not give us the flavor characteristics but we think it is delicious with the first breath and flavor of grass or hay. Then hints of nutmeg and roasted almonds evolve ending with nice a fresh, long lasting finish.  The milk has cinnamon, caramel and rich sour cream notes.


Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deals

Shipping Special

For a limited time FREE SHIPPING is available for bars & tablets, mini bars, tasting squares and the Valrhona Ballotin boxes for orders of $50 or more in merchandise.  Terms and conditions apply.  See important details about this Promotion on the chocosphere.com website.

Valrhona Value

Try the Valrhona Eclat.  It is premium chocolate beautifully wrapped and a delicious end to the perfect dinner.  Just enough to satisfy your sweet craving, but not too much to keep you awake at night.  Just $14.95 for 80 pieces or even better $39.95 for about 240 pieces.  Perfect to set aside a lovely cappuccino or cup of tea.


Who are we?

I ask this of myself all the time. But now a wonderful customer wants to know.

Jerry and I started the business in 1998 because I felt certain that other folks like me would be looking for delicious Cote d'Or milk chocolate.  Luckily, my husband, Jerry thought so too.   Back then it was almost impossible to find unless you were in Europe. We came from very different business backgrounds, but with healthy chocolate cravings and the desire to do good deeds and make people happy.  For the first few years we were both employed elsewhere and managing to work Chocosphere from home in our 900 square foot daylight basement, at night and with a few friends who helped us keep it growing during the daylight hours.  We came home at night to the smell of chocolate and more work in the deep, dark Chocolate Bunker.

During these years, mostly friends helped us along and early in our chocolate life we lucked out with Joel,  Sue and others as Order Processors.  Somewhere along the way, the details of managing the IT side of Chocosphere became too much for Jerry and he turned the task over to Joel who is our full-time web master.   Joel has a Masters in Computer Science, specializing in software development.  Sue is still with us for quarterly physical inventory, which she does during the last weekend of each quarter.

In January, 2001, I left my day job and in December, Jerry left his.  We moved into this temperature controlled (with generator back up) building in Tualatin, Oregon in October,  2003.  Although we operate without a lot of advertising and without a walk-in retail store, chocolate people from everywhere find us online and some even visit us to pickup at our warehouse after placing an order on the website.  

Ten years ago, JP (her name is also JoAnne and we call her "JP" to avoid confusion) found us.  She is our Lead Retail Processor, responsible for keeping the orders moving, customer contact, repackaging and she just gets it done (and sweetly).  Five years ago Trent of all trades came along.  He is our primary Wholesale contact, Fork Lift Operator, Warehouse/Inventory manager, and photographer.  Four years ago Magic MeLissa appeared.  Although she is the newest OOOmpah here, she is the one who most often does beautiful gift wrap and packaging, routine product setup, for our most recent products writes product descriptions and correspondence (elegantly and clearly), helps us with social media, manages the movement of stock from the retail shelf to the on-sale and bargain basement pages, and backs up the rest of us.  We're really lucky to have all of these folks who really focus on taking care of you, our valued customer, while doing so in a way that allows us to stay in business and be here to satisfy your chocolate needs for a long time to come.

The seven of us are here for one main reason and that is to make all of your chocolate wishes come true.  


Bargain Basement

There are quite a few items on the Bargain Basement, so it is a great time to do some shopping for yourself. The Grab Bag shelf is full as it usually is at this time of the year, so now is the time to buy and find the most variety. Grab bags are still the best buy and better than half off the original price.   You get $45.00 worth for $19.95 and $100.00 for $39.95 (original value based on single unit full price).  There are consumer grab bags and options for the chef as well.  Also check out our 'On Sale' page. We now have five full shelving units of "On Sale" and "Bargain Basement" products of which most are beyond the 'best by' date.  The Slitti dragees are 2 for the price of 1, in some instances when the date is still good.  It is such a shame that these did not sell, because they are absolutely the best. So take advantage of the specials and low-cost shipping options.

Please remember that Bargain Basement products are usually past the best-by date, and may be bloomed or broken.  Tha Bargain Basement is a place to treat yourself at a great price, but probably not for gift giving.


Recipe Corner 

Taza chocolate brownies

Butter (for the pan)

Cocoa powder (for the pan)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

6 oz. (2 bars) 80% Taza Stone Ground Chocolate or bits

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup walnuts coarsely chopped

To Prepare:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 X 13 inch baking pan and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess
  2. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Sift together the flour and salt.  With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and lemon colored.  Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until thoroughly blended.  Fold in the flour mixture, followed by the walnuts.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake about 25 minutes or until the center is just set; do not over-bake.  Let the brownies cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
  6. Make 6 lengthwise cuts and 3 horizontal cuts to form 28 bars. (Adapted from "The silver Palate Cookbook.")

Customer Service

Of course we are happy to help over the phone, but we do appreciate it when you place your order on line. It helps us to give the most prompt and accurate service. If you don’t feel comfortable giving your credit card number over the internet, just click the box for "Please Call for Credit Card Info" and we will call you. But when you need help, we are here for you. There is generally someone answering the phones between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

There are five of us answering phones at Chocosphere, where we speak fluent Chocospherian. We try hard to answer all calls personally during normal business hours, but occasionally one slips over to voice mail. If you call and end up in voice mail, please leave a message. We will do our very best to call back promptly.  If by chance you don't hear back from us in a reasonable time, please call again during our normal business hours.

We each have varying levels of experience. It is our goal to happily serve you the very best chocolate!!

Finally, and very importantly, our web site lists our service commitments as to when we ship an order based on when the order is placed.  However, we certainly understand there are circumstances where you may want us to process an order faster, when you need your chocolate "now"!  If you need your order shipped faster than our listed service commitment, please place your order online letting us know of your need in the "Comments" section, and then call us (503-692-3323 x 0 for Customer Service) to let us know.  We can't guarantee early shipping, but we always try hard to provide chocolate happiness to our valued customers.


Newsletter

If you want us to send a copy as an email every time there is a new issue or to tell you about special offers, please create an account at chocosphere.com and check the newsletter box.


Topics:

If you have a topic you would like us to cover in the newsletter, please drop us a line: customer‑service@chocosphere.com and we will be happy to include it in a future edition

Contact us at 503-692-3323 and press 0 for Customer Service

Fax 503-692-1494