The dust-up over Cadbury chocolate has a new wrinkle in the form of a mom-and-pop international delivery service. The plan of the British Chocolate Club, which comes from the minds of Brits Robert Jeffreys and his fiancée, Rebecca Gerken, is simple enough: Buy British chocolate in bulk and then mail it off to you on this side of the pond. The reason British Chocolate Club is even necessary is thanks to a lawsuit filed by Hershey last month against Cadbury that banned companies from importing the British chocolate, which is generally made with more milk, more fat and a creamier texture.
But the ban applied only to companies, not individuals. So Jeffreys and Gerken spotted an opportunity. According to their initial press release, “the startup bypasses the import block by delivering to private households only.” The BCC actually runs on a subscription model popularized by Birchbox and more recently adopted by food startups all over the world. For $14.95 a month, Jeffreys and Gerken will pack you a box of eight British chocolates like Cadbury Dairy Milks or Curly Wurlys (they still really know how to name their candy bars in England). You can customize it to your liking or let the owners choose for you. And while they aren’t listed on the order page, Cadbury Creme Eggs will be available—we’re still a little far from Easter, so they haven’t hit shelves in full force yet. Gerken told DNAinfo, “We are planning on offering a special Easter box next month, and chocolate eggs are a must in there.” You can also send them an email with your order asking for an egg—or nine.
For its part, Hershey is planning to fight back. According to a company spokesman, “What the couple is doing—selling to consumers in the United States—is still a violation of Hershey’s US trademark rights.” But for the time being, Jeffreys and Gerken are piling mountains of chocolate in their living room and shipping it around the world. The sun never sets on the British chocolate empire.