Monday, November 29, 2010

Chocolate Inspirations, Inc. Review!

Hi Everyone!

I am so glad I discovered Chocolate Inspirations, a vegan specialty chocolate and toffee company located in Chicago. Marcy was very generous to send me a sample of her vegan chocolates to review that included: a cinnamon toasted toffee bar, caramel bar, gourmet fudge bar, peanut butter pillows with chocolate, English toffee bar, cashew brittle, granola bar with chocolate, coconut brittle, and a cinnamon flavor gourmet hot chocolate cup to create your favorite hot chocolate with! All chocolates are vegan and dairy free.

Vegan Chocolate Samples

Hot Chocolate Stick among samples
My favorite was the fudge bar! It was fresh, chewy and scrumptious. I especially liked that the chocolate was not overpowered by added ingredients, such as flavorings or extracts. It was not too sweet, which I enjoyed, and did not taste heavy.

Here are some questions answered by one of the owners/founders of the company, Marcy, to help you become more familiar with the company and their products as well as ways to help animals in your community.

How did you get started?
My mom, Pam Vieau, loved taking cooking classes. In 1992 she took a chocolate class from a well known chocolatier Elaine Gonzalez and loved it! It was in November so she decided to use her new skills to make chocolate boxes and fill them with her homemade English Toffee for Christmas gifts for her friends. Well they were a big hit – especially the English Toffee and she began receiving requests to purchase her chocolates. She became so busy she decided she would try her own business. She traded a batch of cookies for her first chocolate machine and started Chocolate Inspirations.

What do you feel are some healthy benefits to being a vegan?
Although we are not Vegan -(we launched our Vegan line after Pam was promoting her products at Whole Foods, a vegan vendor approached her and said she heard wonderful compliments about her chocolates and she should consider making vegan candies. After months of research and lots of wonderful help from other vegan food businesses we launched our Vegan line in May of 2009) Most Vegan product ingredients are all natural and contain no preservatives. Many Americans suffer from dairy allergies and the more vegan products available the more the options they have.

What could individuals do in their community to help spread the word about animal rights?
Too many times people think contributions need to be large and therefore believe they do not have the time or the financial means to help. However just a little bit means so much to the organizations looking for assistance.
For example: A simple letter to your state representatives for tougher laws on dog fighting and cruelty to animals only takes a bit of your time. Then forward the letter to friends and family and convince them to take a few minutes to e-mail their representatives.
Check out your local animal shelter – the small shelters do not have a large PR budget to bring in donations and are struggling. They could always use your old blankets or a bag of food.

Are you expanding your company? Any new chocolates to be offered soon?
Our Gourmet Hot Chocolate Cups are our newest item (only 1 ½ month old) they have been such a huge hit we have decided to add a few more flavors to the line after the holidays. We are also working on a Vegan Heart Shaped chocolate box filled with vegan candy for Valentine’s Day.

What are your favorite chocolates?
I think right now it is the Peanut Butter Pillows – I LOVE Peanut Butter and with the chocolate it is heaven for me. I also love caramels and fudge.

Tell us more about Chocolates for Charity.
My mom/partner and I are big advocates for adopting pets. Buddy was adopted after Toffee, our Lhasa we found wandering around the outside of an apartment building passed away. At the time I was not home enough to give animal proper attention so we decided to share custody of Buddy. Volunteers from a no-kill shelter saved Buddy from the pound just days away from being euthanized. They were told he was vicious but when she approached him he kissed her on the nose and she realized someone just wanted to get rid of the dog. We adopted Buddy 6 years ago and he has been a wonderful friend. There are so many animals that need good homes and so many wonderful organizations trying to help but are financially struggling. We decided to start Chocolate for Charity to help raise money for these fabulous organizations. How it works – On our website we have a Chocolate for Charity page. Every two months (except during the holidays then one organization is featured in November and another in December) an animal shelter is featured along with a variety of our products. The organization receives a portion of the proceeds from items purchased that are featured on our Chocolate for Charity

Where can we purchase your chocolate?
Our chocolate is available online at – we also welcome customers to call or e-mail us for order – although online purchasing is very convenient it does take away from the personal contact with the customers. I really enjoy talking to the clients.

What are some great gifting ideas this holiday season? What do you offer?
We are very excited about our new Gourmet Hot Chocolate Cups it’s a great product for Vegans and non-vegans. They are available in 4 flavors (Dark chocolate, Cinnamon Flavor, Espresso Flavor and Caramel Latte Flavor) – they can be purchased individually which is great for stocking stuffers or we have a 4 piece Happy Holidays Gift Bag! For only $2.00 you can personalize the gift bag! No quantity necessary.
I also love our holiday molded items: Our handcrafted Chocolate Wreath Box (the entire box is made of chocolate) filled with candy.

 A beautiful gift: Elegant Gold Boxes – available in 1 lb up to 12 lb boxes.

How is vegan chocolate made? The main ingredient change is to soy milk from dairy.

Purchase your gift from Chocolate Inspirations, Inc. here.

Buddy, Chocolate For Charity Spokesdog (How cute is he!!??)
 Find out more about their Chocolate for Charity cause.


  1. Chocolate? Good. Vegan chocolate? Even better! :)
    I'm now following you through the Monday "Cornucopia of Blog Hops". I hope you'll do the same! You can find me @

    Sofia's Ideas

  2. Hi Venessa, I reviewed these chocolates as well and they are phenomenal. And you gotta love Chocolate for charity.

  3. NEw follower!!!


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