Sep 082010
 

Someday (soon) we’re going to do the leg work required to get our chocolate store online.  I’m not talking about ordinary chocolates that you can buy at the supermarket, or even at the local mall.  I’m talking about craft made, small batch, bean to bar, single origin dark chocolate…65-70% cacao and up.  Yeah…Theobroma Cacao, “food of the gods”, the “super food” everyone is talking about.

Just like the California wine industry in the 60′s and 70′s, and the craft beer industry in the 90′s and beyond, there is a movement around the world to discover and develop single origin chocolate sources.  Chocolate makers are developing relationships with growers in tropical regions around the world, and are producing chocolate bars with unique regional flavors, similar to the way terroir affects wine.

The trouble is, there is really no convenient way to find and experience these unique chocolates.  You can find a few at your local Whole Food Market, or maybe a specialty shop like Spec’s (if you’re in Texas).  But, the selection is limited and still leans toward the diluted milk chocolates made by Hershey, Cadbury, and Ghirardelli.  Each of the makers has a web site, and most have e-commerce capabilities.  So, if you know who they are (I’ll publish a list in a later post),  you can order directly from the manufacturer.

Not the easiest way to get your chocolate fix.

ChokAlot.com will be an online chocolate store that provides a wide selection of craft made chocolate bars, along with reviews, tasting notes, discussion, and a bar-of-the-week/month subscription service….maybe even a chocolate tasters club, similar to a book club, where bar-of-the-week/month subscribers can experience tasting new offerings together.

For the time being, and for fun, I’ve put up a placeholder site at ChokAlot.com

This simple single page site has a lot going on technically.  It’s implemented completely in CSS and Javascript, so it runs in the browser with no server-side support.  Through a little bit of z-index trickery, DOM manipulation, and Javascript magic, the page background is turned into a slide show that fills the browser window no matter what size it is.  Try resizing your browser while the slide show is in progress.  The scaling is done in realtime, as you resize the browser.  There’s a Shockwave-based audio player embedded as well. Anyway, it was fun to implement, and I think its fun watch and listen to ChokAlot.com