Friday, June 17, 2016

Subscription Sweets: Guest Post by Emily Stashower

My friend Emily Stashower mentioned that she subscribed to a monthly artisan sweets delivery service called Treatsie. I just had to find out more, so Emily agreed to write a guest post after sampling several months worth of treats. FYI: Emily paid for the service, so this is an unbiased review. 

Emily Stashower is an amateur nature enthusiast, blogger and mother of twins. After a career in healthcare and numerous community organizations, her current endeavor, her blog, was started on a lark to combine a love of gardening, writing, photography, nature and an inability to meet deadlines. The blog notes that "sometimes an empty nest is just a nest without a bird. Other times, it's a middle aged suburban woman rediscovering interests and cultivating passions." 

Emily Stashower:
Subscription Sweets

It’s pretty hard to ignore the array of delivery services available these days and it seems like one can subscribe to just about anything and everything imaginable. What was once a novelty, such as a subscription to a special magazine (oh how I eagerly anticipated “Tiger Beat” each month), Fruit of the Month Club and/or more recently, Flower of the Month Clubs, is now commonplace. I’ve yet to take the plunge and subscribe to one of the meal services, tempting though they may be, but when I came across the possibility to subscribe to a monthly artisan sweet service, I caved. That’s right – I’m a subscriber to a service that curates artisan sweets and delivers them monthly. Welcome to

I have a sweet tooth and, fortunately for me, it is satisfied easily with “just a taste” of something unique and sweet – that is exactly what Treatsie provides. If you want to receive large quantities of desserts, this is not the service for you but if you would like to sample from a diverse assortment of sweets, Treatsie more than fits the bill.

So far, I’ve received three boxes in the subscription service and here’s what just arrived for May:

Previous boxes have had more chocolate (so this one was a little disappointing but more on that in a bit) and they are always selected from at least 3 different companies. Some of the more memorable items have included delicious shortbread covered in salted caramel and then drizzled with chocolate, chocolate covered graham crackers topped with sea salt, vanilla bean shortbread and key lime macaroons. One standout was the Lambrecht Gourmet Toffee packaged in cello bags with a few pieces in each bag. Flavors included Southern Pecan Toffee, Karma Toffee (butter toffee with roasted slivered almonds then drenched in mocha/caramel chocolate) and Hoity Toity Toffee (toffee with dry roasted macadamia nuts covered in imported white chocolate).

In advance of the month’s delivery, Treatsie emails customers to highlight seasonal products that can be added on to the subscription. This month, I added on “Sticky Toffee Pudding Bars” and they’re terrific:

Even if you add on to the basic monthly subscription, it seems like the delivery always includes “just the right amount” of sweets. You won’t feel like you’ve overindulged – you can’t eat an entire box of delicious artisan sweets because they don’t send you a huge box. Each box includes a carefully curated selection of about 4 – 6 sweets chocolates in a box and if you’ve added on anything, you have even more to enjoy. It’s a lot of fun to read the descriptions, go through the box’s contents and look forward to sampling a sweet over the following days. The boxes have been consistently good – so good, in fact, that I sent a box as a gift to my father and wouldn’t hesitate to send a subscription to someone.

How does this subscription service work? The first step is to decide on what plan you would like; you can be billed monthly ($20), quarterly ($19) or annually ($17) per box. Boxes are shipped after the 15th of each month and you can cancel at any time. I decided to subscribe for a year and paid for it at one time. No matter what, you are guaranteed to receive a box of treats from at least 3 different vendors every month and it contains up to $25 of gourmet sweets in each box.

When subscribing, they ask a limited amount of information by soliciting a rating about milk chocolate, dark chocolate and coffee/espresso. However, it’s merely a “thumbs up” or “down” and unless I missed something, there’s little else to direct the choices (e.g. do you like nuts, coconut and/or are there other flavors or ingredients you have specific likes/dislikes about).

Once you select the billing and rate those few tastes, you customize the box – the choices are a standard box or you can “double up” and get $50 worth of sweets per month. No matter what plan you select, the first box will be doubled up and I was thrilled to receive TWICE as much toffee, shortbread and individually wrapped chocolate bites.

Even if you don’t subscribe to the monthly service, you can order from Treatsie’s website – but it should be noted that the website’s selection(s), just like the monthly offerings, change according to season and availability. Something you may have loved a few months ago might not be available any longer. However, the subscription service and website (if used for add-ons and/or a one time gift box) always offers a wide variety of chocolate bars – using many different companies and within that, some amazing selections.

Other companies offered via Treatsie which consistently offer superior products include Dolcetta (amazing chocolate bars – I particularly recommend the Dolcetta Sweets Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bar), Nunu Chocolates, Cocoa Rouge Dark & White Chocolate Swirl Bar, Cocoa Rouge Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Bar and Dick Taylor Ginger Snaps Bar.

The website lists best sellers and I have to admit the Milk Chocolate Colts Bolts (pure milk chocolate layered with peanut butter and whole roasted almonds) are calling me. After all, they won the “Outstanding Confection" Award at the International Fancy Food Show!

Treatsie offers a vegan alternative in addition to the subscription service, it’s a great resource for gifts and specialty boxes and they also offer wedding favors. And although it’s likely you could scour the website to find these recommendations (and much more) there’s something really satisfying about the anticipation of a monthly delivery of curated artisan sweets. Slightly indulgent, I admit, but well worth it.

To date, the “hits” far outweigh the “misses” (the edible dough was sickly sweet, and I could have done without the unusual flavored lollypops with bubblegum centers) and the only thing I really should be weighing is . . . myself. I’ll stick with the basic service with the occasional “add on” to keep that sweet tooth satisfied & under control – but if you’re in the mood for an unusual, tasty and high quality surprise hand selected for your enjoyment and delivered right to your door each month, give a try.

No comments: