Chocolates by Genevie (Review)

I get offered quite a few things to review, mostly toys or household/kitchen items, and the vast majority of them I'm happy to accept. Some of them are completely off course for our family which contains a three year old boy, but mostly they fit really well. Especially chocolate!

When I was asked to review a new line of chocolates by a new start up business, "we are a small family business dedicated to making chocolate that is second to none", I was more than happy to do so because I feel it's important to support the independent businesses. I also love chocolate and it's got to be a pretty grotty chocolate to not have me impressed.

The pretty box of chocolates from Chocolate By Genevie arrived in the post. Admittedly they were a smaller box than I expected, but I decided that it was quality not quantity that was important.

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I liked the look of the white chocolate one and bit in. To discover a filling which I couldn't put my finger on. I wasn't even that impressed with the quality of the white chocolate to be honest.

It's at this point that I searched the box for the description card, to no avail. This I found a little disturbing. In this day and age when there are so many of the population with allergies, it's really important to disclose which of the chocolates have nuts or other ingredients in. (I didn't realise until today when I read another review that there is also no use-by date.)

However, I plodded on with the pot luck situation of the chocolates and quickly discovered that in all honesty I couldn't work out any flavours other than praline and possibly a bit of nut. Very disappointing indeed for a box of chocolates which cost £8.99. On that note, it works out to be more than £1 a chocolate. £1 per chocolate! Having reviewed several boxes of chocolates for Hotel Chocolat, I can safely say that these are more expensive and a far lower quality. In fact, they were reminiscent of a supermarket box of truffles.

I had this box to review back in July, so why has it taken me so long to review them? Because I didn't know what to say. I felt bad for this small, home-grown business which was investing in bloggers to promote their brand. The company had offered me a box for a competition as well, but having tasted them I wasn't really keen to endorse them and have been hanging back on writing this review.

What's made me write it tonight? This post here.

It transpires that a few other bloggers who'd been sent this box of chocolates were sufficiently concerned about the lack of product descriptions, ingredients and use-by date, and did some investigations. I'll leave you to read them. Nonetheless, the original 'about me' description of the company (which I quoted above) has been changed. Instead of reading: "Everything from making the chocolates to finishing the boxes is done by hand making sure you receive a product which is both unique and special; we are a small family business dedicated to making chocolate that is second to none" it now says "We have… finally found a small Belgium supplier who makes chocolates that are just divine – all of our chocolates are produced in Belgium by chocolatiers who excel in the art of chocolate. We are a small family business dedicated to sourcing and supplying chocolate that is second to none."

Now as far as I can see, that's a completely different claim. That means that the Genevie who told me that she handmade the chocolates herself (with her family taste-testing and boxing them) doesn't actually do that. And that indeed this family buy them in and repackage them to sell on their site over in the UK.

I'm one of those rare people that don't like Belgian chocolates. I don't like the nutty tastes, I don't like the texture of the chocolates. If I'd known it was a box of Belgian chocolates, I'd have said no.

I have genuinely been toying with my review for the past month. Finding out that the company involved appear to be misleading people as to their origins annoys me. I don't like being lied to.

Regardless of the honesty of the company, would I recommend these chocolates? Well to me, they are standard Belgian chocolates with indeteminable flavours, in fairly attractive but indistinctive packaging, which work out at £1 a chocolate. So, no I wouldn't.

As for the competition promoting the company? Are you having a laugh?

I was sent these chocolates for the purpose of this review. My opinion is honest and probably unbiased, but I'm still cross about being lied to.

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Comments

  1. says

    I think none of us like being lied to, and it is not a good way to try and start a business up, I for one would not buy from her now that is for sure. Dont think she will manage to stay in business long, but then her whole business has been built on a lie. I did enjoy the chocolates especially the mousse type filled ones

  2. says

    Chocolates don't need a use by date as they are not fresh food that go off quickly like meat, fish and dairy. It can have a best before date which is advisory only but I think they don't have to put BB dates on food.

    I liked the ones I was sent, but no claim was made to me that they were handmade by the owner, just that they were handmade.

  3. says

    i only found out about all this hoo ha an hour ago after tara Cain tweeted a tweet about it. i think your post is to the point and fair to be honest. i have also now read the apology – i think the company has learned a hard lesson x

  4. says

    I love Belgian chocs but from the other reviews I've read these are not very nice. I think they need to almost start all over again and get a proper business plan. They've just managed to get themselves a lot of bad PR by being sloppy.

  5. says

    Hmmm… I was approached by this company and agreed to review and run a giveaway (which ends today) I have to say I enjoyed the chocolates I was sent and had no problem offering them to my readers.
    I have been without my laptop for a week so I missed all the hooha!
    I am disappointed that things are not as they were presented to me and as I, in turn, presented to my readers. I think Genevie should have been more up front about the fact the business was literally just starting, no sales had been made and she was approaching bloggers as a means of testing the product as much as anything.
    Reading the apology I would say she has learnt a BIG lesson through all this and I must say I think I have also learned a BIG lesson. Taking these things at face value is not always the best option and perhaps, as a blogger, I should have done more research and asked more questions too.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Thank you for your comment, I do value your input. Of course I'm happy for my readers to read the apology, I believe that someone else had already commented on my post including the link (something I wasn't aware of before this post). Would you mind explaining which of my comments are distorted?

  6. says

    Very interesting! I was approached to review these chocolates and I must admit that I smelt a rat and turned it down. The whole thing about Genevie making these chocolates by hand herself didn't quite sit right for starters and the site looked very amateurish. I'm all for championing new start ups don't get me wrong but something just felt wrong and as it turns out, my instincts were seemingly right! I'm so glad that you and other bloggers have spoken up though. It says a lot about your integrity and your readers with appreciate that.

  7. says

    LOVE this review! When a blogger tells me that the post is a review I often skip posts as I find them to be a bit blah most of the times. I'm so very glad that I read this one because it is honest, refreshing and constructive! I just thought of saying well done for it because I appreciate it both as a blogger and as a reader of your blog!

  8. Size says

    That's such a shame, and so stupid of them. They must be terribly naive to think they won't get caught out. Then to simply change their bio without a word to the people they've already dealt with? Shocking.
    I'm not surprised you're so upset.

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