Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Treatsie - support small businesses and your sweet tooth

Treatsie - sample box ordered February 12, 2014, arrived February 15, 2014
Chances are if you're a regular reader of my blog you're a baker or just have a sweet tooth. Or just like to read about food. You're also probably used to me going on and on about supporting small businesses. So it won't surprise you that here I go again.

I first heard about Treatsie from Crazy for Crust. What hooked me into looking at them more closely is their emphasis on promoting small, independent businesses by gathering offerings from chef-run shops around the country and shipping them in treat boxes as a monthly subscription service. You don't have to do a subscription and can just do a one-time order of a box but as a consumer, you can expect to sample small-batch, artisan offerings by high quality, small businesses. Do I sound like an ad? Just their business premise alone was enough to get me to try them out. Imagine getting artisan truffles from one part of the country, caramels from another, peanut brittle from a third. You not only get to discover and support small "treat" businesses across the country but if you find something you like, you now know where to get more. Genius.
Treatsie offers a sample box for $5 with free shipping which is what I ordered to see what kind of products they had. I also needed to order a birthday present for my old college roommate and a 3-month subscription seemed like just the thing. A single month is $19.95 and a 3-month subscription is $59 which already includes shipping. So not only does it seem like a good deal but I like the idea of supporting small businesses doing small batch production of high-end treats.
I have to say I was impressed with their execution. I ordered both the sampler box for myself and the subscription for my former roommate from and got confirmation emails that both orders had shipped the same day I had ordered them. Seriously, there was less than an hour between the time I got the confirmation email of my order and the shipping notice. Take that, amazon.
My sampler box was shipped USPS and arrived in a few days. The box itself was shrink-wrapped and shipped in an outer cardboard box. Inside, there was a handful of treats: a couple of caramels, chocolates from Seattle Chocolates and little sample chocolate bars. Plus a card with a coupon code for $5 off my first subscription box.
For a $5 sampler box, I thought I got my money's worth, considering the shipping cost and the products. I tried the caramels and really enjoyed them. The only drawback is there wasn't info on what the box contained or which business it had come from. Seattle Chocolates was easy enough to identify because I'd heard of them before and Avenue Sweets and Askinosie listed their websites but I wasn't familiar with the others and had to do some sleuthing on where they came from. It might not have been practical for Treatsie to include that info in their box (more cost) and I know they detail out what's in their monthly boxes so you know what you get but it's a good note for the small businesses involved that their packaging should, at a minimum, include their web address so potential customers know where to go.

I'm curious to see what a monthly subscription box would be like and may buy a subscription for myself (as soon as I pay the tax man, ha) since I really do want to support this kind of small business model. And get treats.

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