Monday, January 10, 2011

DOVE Chocolate Discoveries Party

In 2010, your Chocoolate Priestess made a connection via LinkedIn with a woman who worked with the DOVE Chocolate Discoveries network.  Think of them as a sort of Avon or Tupperware party/sells pitch but with chocolate.  I reviewed the samples she sent me and then I sent out a call for another DOVE independent chocolatier nearer to my home.  I also visited and sent a message via the main DOVE Chocolate Discoveries website saying I was looking for someone.  I was contacted by a nice woman named Renee Reed who lives right in my town and we sent up a party.  That's her doing some set up in my house this past Saturday, January 8, 2011.

I had 12 RSVPs for the party, Renee's advice was to keep it fairly small, but we had more snow than we expected and some of the guests canceled at the last minute because of illness or work.  I was worried.  I didn't want our presenter to have made treats and then have no one there and I didn't want to pressure my guests to buy though they were fully aware of what type of party this was.  In total we had 10 people so there were a few leftovers of what Renee prepared but she was pretty close to the right amount.

We set up the living room and our presenter went back and forth from the dining room.  If I do this again, I'm going to move the table closer to the front room or have it in the basement were there is more space undivided by walls.  Renee had the Fall/Holiday 2010 catalogs and pens for everyone and handed those out to begin.  Then she went through the catalog and showed us products, discussing what she liked best, the challenges of working with chocolate, and the benefits of DOVE products.

She began with the "Instant Gratification" products you can buy and eat right from the bag.  Now, the Milk Chocolate Acolyte was a bit disappointed when we talked about what to buy.  He wanted something he could eat without work but he didn't see the DOVE products he was used to in the catalog.  I had to explain again that this was a way to get DOVE products that you just can't by walking into grocery or mass merchandise store.  Renee gave everyone some of the Chardonnay Wine Brittle with Caramelized Cocoa Nibs -- something I reviewed in 2010.  We ended up ordering the Cinnamon Apples a la mode which has white chocolate since it was a new product and we hoped everyone in our household would try it.

Then we talked about drinks.  When I contracted with Renee to do the party, she gave me several choices in the categories she would give out samples from.  I wanted to make sure we did all three major chocolate groups -- white, milk, and dark -- and as much as I could, something I hadn't reviewed for the other chocolatier.  For the beverage category I picked the Aztec Spice.  I received mine in a fancy cup since I was the hostess.  People seemed to like it though some wanted more spice in it.  I know that some folks ordered not the hot beverages but the alcoholic drink kits.

Renee next shared some candies she'd made using DOVE chocolate but also their molds, transfer sheets and a tempering unit you can buy from them.  Unfortunately we have limited three-prong outlets in our house, apparently in 1960 they didn't know about them (?!?!), so she couldn't directly demonstrate it.  But our Chocolate Fruit Acolyte was in attendance and she and I know first hand that tempering can be tricky.

Under Desserts, Renee tried something for the first time for our party: the Chocolate Baking Mix.  This mix isn't limited to only making cakes, or cookies, or breads, but is more like a general mix that contains several basic ingredients. You add this for cake, that for cookies, another ratio for another product.  She made us nice dark cookie.  Then she gave us samples of the chocolate mousse as well to sample.  Now, I was told not to eat the little samples and soon, as hostess, I had this beautiful bowl of the cookies, the mousse, and strawberries in a trifle dessert.  It was very delicious!

Finally we ended the party with two fondues, one milk chocolate and one white chocolate, with dipping treats that I supplied.  That was all I had to supply -- dipping things and the space.  The fondue kits including the warming bowls and trays are also from DOVE Chocolate Discoveries.   It took Renee about 45 minutes to set up and we had a nice chat while she was doing so.

While people were nibbling, they asked questions and browsed the catalog.  Renee didn't pressure people and she was willing to go online and find any special offers or deals that were currently available.  One of our Mocha Acolyte's let her borrow his iPad to get the information.

Most guests bought one or two things.  We bought one and then I qualified for a free gift so I choose 6 packets of the mousse mix since that is something I don't make often but I could see doing several things with.  I also received a little gift bag from Renee with samples of some other products like the chocolate-covered espresso beans, covered nuts and fruit, and some of the more readily available DOVE candies individually wrapped.

Everything that was ordered is going to be delivered to me and then I'll contact the guests and hand out what they bought.  This is wise because it saves on packing materials which as you know, Sisters and Brothers, can be a lot of both recyclable but also non-recyclable materials.

Renee Reed was a good presenter.  She was funny and honest, she tried to engage with each guest as much as the layout of my house allowed.  I would highly recommend that you visit her site and look into hosting your own party or just ordering from her.  I hope that some of my guests also leave comments here giving you their views of the party.  I would definitely consider doing another party in the future but I'd want to make sure it was at a time when some of the guests who couldn't make it this time, could make it.


Victoria (The District Chocoholic) said...

I can't think of a better theme for a party. Much better than freaking Tupperware!


It seems you had a fabulous party and glad you've introduced us to Renee Reed, will check her site later. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment. See you again soon...

Hester Chang said...

Oh my... I want a chocolate party :-(

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Hester, first thanks for reading and commenting. Second, I don't know where you live but it if is in the USA you might be able to find a chocolatier near you.

Hey, I do a post about creating your own chocolate party too for those of you who live elsewhere.

briarrose said...

What a fun party.

Lisa said...

Sounds like a wonderful party with really interesting products.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

The presenter, Renee, dropped off the order yesterday so my guests are now getting their chocolates as they come by my house. She told me that was the quickest turn around time she had ever seen.

Erin said...

If anyone is from the greater Seattle area they can contact me for their very own chocolate party. What could be more fun?

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