By Renato Ghio
Two local entrepreneurs, Michael and Jennifer Sauvageau, are bringing together chocolate and lasers to create unique gifts that are a card and an edible sweet treat in one.
Their start-up company, Noteworthy Chocolates, laser engraves your personal message onto what they call chocolate stationary. It’s a 100% personalized, delicious gift. “It’s not just about the chocolate,” said Michael. “It’s about sending messages to people you care about.”
There are two parts to how this unique business idea came about. Last fall, Michael was coming back from an events expo in NYC and noticed that all the high-end booths were giving out chocolates. He thought to himself, “What can you do with it (chocolate) that’s actually unique? What can you do to personalize it?” At around the same time, on his Facebook feed, he saw posts about lasers. And while you wouldn’t think of putting the two things together, Michael did. He wondered, “What if you put lasers to chocolate?”
That question sparked months of research and trial and error. Once they knew the idea was feasible, they not only needed chocolate-making equipment, they also needed a laser. That’s when they found themselves at the Danbury Innovation Center. Since January, Michael and Jennifer have been putting in long days and nights to perfect the process and the product. Through experimentation, they have learned what type of artwork and fonts work best, in addition to dialing in the right laser temperature and speed. Michael noted that the people at the Innovation Center have been just as important as the laser; they’ve been wonderful sources of advice, mentoring and encouragement.
Noteworthy Chocolates offers premium white, milk and dark chocolate stationary. Their chocolate supplier crafts Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate with cacao sustainably sourced from Ecuador. It’s made in small batches in the French artisan tradition in the United States, with only the finest non-GMO ingredients. The dark chocolate shares equipment with milk and white chocolate. The chocolate is soy, peanut and gluten-free.
A lot of thought has gone into not only the chocolate, but also the simple eco-elegant packaging. Nearly all the packaging is biodegradable, recyclable, reusable or compostable. Inside the hard outer box, each chocolate comes wrapped in wax paper, along with your special laser-engraved message in traditional paper form in a wax-sealed envelope. This way you have a keepsake and don’t have to feel badly about actually eating the chocolate.
“We want it to be an experience when you open it,” said Michael, adding that there is a “wow factor” in realizing that this chocolate message was made just for you.