Friday, November 21, 2008

Amazing Toffee and Outstanding Marketing

I am going to digress from the Chocolate Show (again!) because I have to share this amazing toffee with you. Now there's a lot of toffee out there at Christmastime - you know what I'm talking about - those generic peppermint topped squares you see in Target and Williams Sonoma? It never lists any candy company - they seem to spring from some mystery source. Well, my experience has been that most of them, well, suck. Sorry - the ingredients just aren't very good. They even fall below the simple Health bar.

Now I really like toffee - hey, it's basically butter and sugar - what's not to love?

I had a roommate in college who always had a stockpile of Heath bars which I seemed unable to keep myself from devouring whenever she was gone. I would replace them, but I was like a junkie with those things! It was terrible!

But except for trying that disappointing genero junk around Christmas, I haven't had much toffee in years. I was off the stuff. Until Wendy Ricci e-mailed me (my comments are in italics):

Hi Denise,

I work with the online community team for Enstrom Candies and spent time checking out Motivation by Chocolate to make sure it was appropriate for me to start a conversation with you. (uh-oh - appropriate - is this blog appropriate? Do I want to be appropriate? That sounds boring. But I sure don't want to be deemed inappropriate...)

I am trying to spread the word about Enstrom's (ridiculously delicious) chocolate almond toffee. My thought was you might enjoy a free 1-pound sample, and your loyal readers might appreciate learning about an authentic (48-year old) toffee-making family business. (oh Hell yes! A one pound sample! Yahoo!!!!)

How this Relates to Your Blog: We would love if there was anything you could share with your readers about the Enstrom's story – so if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Perhaps you could run a contest on your blog, and offer the sample as the prize? (Sorry readers, I love you, but I'm doing all the work here! And I had to screen and make sure the toffee was appropriate for you.)

If so, I'd be happy to arrange the shipping of the product to one of your readers or to whomever you like. (of course, I had Wendy ship that sample right on out to me!)

Chet Enstrom and his wife Vernie perfected the art of toffee-making three generations ago. The secret toffee recipe has been passed down to each generation, and the company has expanded into making fine chocolates created from all natural ingredients. Operated out of Grand Junction, Colorado -- where it all began – Enstrom Candies has become so popular over the years that it is shipped around the world. (Let me tell you, this is one amazing toffee recipe. Just like the Mama Hen, the Enstroms will have to guard it with their lives!)

More Reasons Your Readers Might Care Enstrom's toffee and chocolates are great year-round, but also make wonderful gifts for the Holiday season. has numerous gift boxes, baskets, and tins to choose from (the peppermint cookie bark is to die for!), and also provides information for corporate gift giving. Also, all of Enstrom's products are certified Kosher Dairy.

On a personal note, I hope you do not find this email offensive. I maintain my own personal blog and know how annoying spammy messaging can be.

P.S. I noticed you are from Raleigh, NC. I have family out there and just got back from a trip to OBX (Nags Head). I love it out there!

Best regards,

Wendy Ricci
On behalf of Enstrom Candies

Okay, how cool is Wendy? This is brilliant marketing. She contacts me in a VERY non-pushy and non-offensive way, offers me free candy, AND makes a personal connection (North Carolina). Enstrom's needs to hang onto her with both hands. And maybe a pay raise. Or at least all the toffee she can eat. For the rest of her life.

Offering a sample is great - who's going to turn that down? And the sample delivers!! The box describes the contents as "the perfect blend of sweet cream butter, pure cane sugar and California almonds, drenched in creamy milk chocolate and sprinkled with crushed almonds." And that's what it is - crunchy, yet deliciously rich. Thick and filled with almonds. It's really like SLABS of toffee - I kid you not, this stuff is really, really good. And it's all natural! The ingredients list reads: almonds, butter, sugar, milk chocolate, salt. See the first item? Almonds!! That is way down the list in most other toffees. DO NOT waste your money on any other toffee - this is (as Wendy said) ridiculously delicious.

At least check out the website - they have some delicious looking caramels and chocolates too: Yummy!!!!

I will confess to you that the night the box arrived, I ate over half the toffee. I am not proud of this. That's half a pound of sugar and butter and almonds and chocolate! And I had to stop myself from eating the other half.

Now before you think that I'm just a candy sucker who falls for anything with enough sugar to put me in a diabetic coma, let me tell you about Dean & Deluca's Dark Chocolate Cacao Nib Toffee. This toffee comes in little shiny, dark chocolate covered balls. I opened the bag, popped three into my mouth and had to spit them out. BLEECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They tasted like dirt. Now I know cacao nibs are bitter as heck, but I thought the toffee might even this out. All I say is GLAAACK!!! It might be trendy, it might be hip, but give me Entrom's or give me death!

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Oh m'gosh, me too, me too ... Please ask them to sponsor a contest. I want free toffee! Give me my free toffee!
(Or I'll just have to break down and order it ... that description did it -- darn it.)

And Wendi did a very smart thing contacting you -- You picked right up on her nice note and let the rest of us candy lovers know how fantastic the product was. Just goes to show you that word of mouth advertising really is the best way to go.