The online company, based in London, was set up by Sam Part and Ben Redford, last year who then hired in-house chocolatier and former chief taster at Green & Blacks, William Leigh, and engineer Chris Tait.
Personalized chocolate treats
Before going to market with their products, the entrepreneurs joined Makerversity, which offers co-working space and a prototype facility at Somerset House, London, and did a six-week placement at Selfridges to gauge interest from consumers and get feedback on whether the business would be a success.
Part, co-founder of Candy Mechanics, told ConfectioneryNews, the Candy Cards are the first online product to go on sale after testing the technology and the chocolate to see what people thought of it.
They are currently only sold in the UK in milk or white chocolate with dark chocolate being added to the line soon.
“The idea for the Candy Cards came from looking at other customized cards in the market. We thought why send paper when you can send chocolate? It’s much more fun to eat the card,” he said.
“Customers can create and personalize their own cards online using an editor to create the chocolate treat. These designs are then taken by the mechanics and converted into code that can be understood by the Candy Carve.
“The three font options for the Candy Cards are: Flavorful; Block and Candy Card Casual. We currently have over 150 emojis and we are constantly adding new ones to the collection.”
Part added, the Candy Carve is a customized CNC (Computer Numerical Control) mill developed by its in-house mechanics team to carve directly onto the chocolate product.
“It’s where candy joins forces for the first time with tech and engineering. The combination of the specialisms has created completely new customizable chocolate products, we don’t think there is anything quite like this in the confectionery market at the moment,” he said.
3D chocolate Lolpops
“Candy Cards are the first product to launch from Candy Mechanics. The second product, Lolpops (3D scans of you face created as chocolate lollipops) will be launching early December. We are calling them Lolpops because what’s funnier than a chocolate of your own face.”
The ‘trial by fire’ placement at Selfridges saw the team make a 3D model using a 3D printer and vacuum form mold cast with sugar, chocolate and jellies, to make Lolpops.
“The collaboration between Makerversity and Selfridges was a way of showing people how our products are made as production processes are usually quite well hidden. We used that time to explore the best way to develop this product and gain people’s reactions and feedback across the six-week placement,” said Redford.
“By harnessing the latest 3D printers, Candy Mechanics can create lollipop molds of people’s heads, which are then filled with sugar concoctions, sourced from natural ingredients.”
Flavors include freeze-dried raspberry and salted pistachio; lemon and biscuit crumb; salted corn and chocolate crumb; peanut and chocolate crumb; banana and salted peanut and freeze-dried raspberry and black sesame seed.
“There's some incredible technology out there at the moment and we feel like it's a great time to apply some of that tech to the world of candy. We're not just about lollipops, we want to push the boundaries of how people think and interact with candy in all its forms,” added Redford.
“3D printers have massively reduced the time to get from an idea to something that resembles a good working prototype. They've changed the making process because you can now make rapid iterations and developments on a product very quickly, hack other products with printed parts and even produce small batches of products from the comfort of your desk or home.”
The Candy Cards which weigh 120 g and are designed to fit through a letterbox, cost £12 ($15) with free UK delivery.