Nothing says “I Love You” like custom chocolate bars, at least that's what Joe Dauenhauer, who'll pitch Chocomize to the Sharks in episode 511, hopes people think. Dauenhauer and his partner Fabian Kaempfer (who doesn't appear in the episode) started Chocomize when their dreams of making it big in the corporate world were tempered by the poor economy. They liked chocolate and they wanted to create an online business, so they started a business that allowed people to make their own custom chocolate bars.
Chocomize started selling custom chocolate bars in 2009 and they appear to have quite a nice business going for themselves. You make your bar in the “creation station” where you pick the kind of chocolate base, then add one (or more) of their more than one hundred mix ins. You can even add personal notes. Think of it as a Villy Custom type of experience, but with chocolate!
My Take on Chocomize
Chocolate is a timeless treat and a never miss gift, especially when packaged properly. The idea to make custom chocolate bars on the scale these guys are doing is unique and likely to generate solid profits. It's one thing to make a delicious, customized treat for gift giving, it's another thing entirely to do it well online. The Chocomize website is sleek, slick, and functional. Making and sending custom chocolate bars is easy and fun!
The timing of this pitch is excellent for Chocomize. The single bars are under $10 (think stocking stuffers) and the personalized bar bundles will melt many hearts next Valentine's Day. Anytime that you can give something everyone likes with a personal touch as a gift, it will be a gift that's remembered. That's what it's all about with this business – most folks won't drop seven bucks for a candy bar for themselves, but as a gift, it's a bargain.
I see myself ordering this product for a number of purposes: thank you gifts for real estate clients, gifts for my kids and wife, even as promotional items. I see corporations, sports teams, and fundraising organizations jumping on something like this too. I like chocolate and I like Chocomize's business model. They have a real winner here.
Do Sharks Bite Custom Chocolate Bars?
Chocomize has been in business since 2009. That's long enough to know whether a business is going to work or not. If they have decent sales, the Sharks will be circling early. Conversely, if they aren't turning a profit, the Sharks will be swimming for the deep end.
I'm betting Chocomize is profitable and will hear the weekly “royalty offer” from Mr. Wonderful. Barbara and Mark will likely be in on the bidding too. They teamed up on Villy Customs, which makes bikes the same way Chocomize makes custom chocolate bars, so the concept will be both familiar and enticing. Barbara and Mark both have successful food businesses in their Shark portfolios, so they know how to sniff out a bargain.
Lori could be a player too. The Chocomize bars show well and QVC could bring some serious sales into the pipeline. Robert will like the Chocomize concept and IT infrastructure, so he'll throw his hat into the ring too. Yes, all five Sharks could do battle for Chocomize. I think Barbara and Mark do a deal together. As for me, I'm “ALL IN” with a white chocolate, bacon, pretzel, and cashew bar!