Chocolate or Coffee Shop?
I am rarely frustrated while in a chocolate shop. But why was I waiting in line behind people getting coffee in a chocolate shop? To be fair, I am not a coffee drinker. I was ONLY there for the chocolate, which beautifully filled the shop. I just had to wait a long time to get any.
If it hadn’t been an out of town opportunity, I probably would have moved on. However, Gosanko Chocolate is made in Auburn, Washington and only has a few stores in that general area. I was in the Kitsap Mall.
We were there on a Saturday. The store had a steady, but not unmanageable flow of customers, the likes of which I have seen taken care of more efficiently in other stores. The staff was working hard, treating customers quite pleasantly, and constantly saying they were sorry for the wait. It seemed to be more of a management issue.
Part of the problem may have been not having a good place for the line of waiting customers. It was unclear who was in line and who was browsing the chocolates. This also meant I felt like I was in the way while trying to make some choices. A person should never feel they are in the way while shopping for their chocolate!
Figuring Out Which Chocolates to Buy
The clear descriptions of the chocolates did make it easier to make a decision than in many of the chocolate shops I have been in. Too many shops have clever names for each creation, but I usually have to ask for more specific descriptions. Here, the signs alone made me feel more confident about what I was choosing.
There were many interesting varieties and the shelves were well stocked – except for some whiskey truffles that were apparently very popular! I appreciated that the sizes were small enough that I could get several to try for $10. The prices were clearly displayed, so I knew what I was getting into.
When it was my turn to be waited on, I only felt a little rushed, just because the staff was needing to move so fast to try to get to people. Even with that, though, I felt that the young lady who took care of me was really doing her absolute best and I felt she was giving me her full attention. Unfortunately, that was not quite enough. When I got home and unwrapped my chocolates, I discovered she had given me one wrong one.
The Taste Testing
I bought some of each of these:
- Sea Salt Bacon Caramel
- Hazelnut Truffle
- Coconut Cream (but this was the one that was accidentally substituted with something I could not identify)
- Huckleberry Cream
- Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cluster
- Almond Butter Crunch
- Triple Dipped Malt Balls
Each of these chocolates were tasty and of great quality, but not all were equally enjoyed.
For one thing, I had to admit that I don’t really like bacon with my chocolate. Leave out the bacon, and the salted caramel was very soft and tasty.
The huge malt balls were fun, but I don’t think they were worth the price to me.
The huckleberry cream and hazelnut truffle were quite yummy. Not too rich or overpowering, while still uniquely flavored. I would rank these as the most gourmet among my selections.
The dark chocolate on the macadamia clusters seemed about the same as what I can buy in the convenience stores in Hawaii; but, then, I wasn’t in Hawaii. Also, I think it is hard to make chocolate covered nut clusters stand out, but people expect them to be there, so they are.
The almond butter crunch was very mild. It had good flavor and was soft enough to eat without being afraid of breaking a tooth.
I am still disappointed I didn’t get the coconut cream, and even more so because I really didn’t care for the one I accidentally got. It was rather bland.
I had the enthusiastic help of my son and daughter-in-law in the taste testing. They also had purchased some liquor truffles that they liked.
Would I buy chocolate there again?
With chocolate, it has to come down to a combination of quality, flavors, and price. While I whole heartedly appreciated the flavor and quality of Gosanko chocolates, I did not feel it was better than See’s Candy and so does not justify the price difference.
The Gosanko truffles were $2.25 a piece. Most of the other candy was $32.95 per pound, with the notable exception of selections in the large jars. The malt balls were in the jars and were $15.95 a pound. They were the only item I got two of. Those two cost me 93 cents. My daughter-in-law got ¼ pound of the chocolate covered espresso beans and this amounted to a small handful.
The main advantage Gosanko Chocolate has in the Kitsap Mall is that the See’s Candy shop there is only seasonal and only sells prepackaged boxes. Since Gosanko Chocolate is local to this part of Washington, there may be a freshness factor that appeals to people, too.
I probably won’t go out of my way to get more Gosanko chocolate, but if I happen to be in that mall again, I can see myself getting a couple of pieces for fun – if there isn’t a long line of people ordering coffee.