Case Study: The Chocolate Emporium (Cleveland, Ohio)

by Austin Johnson July 13, 2016

The Chocolate Emporium, a specialty chocolate shop located outside of Cleveland, Ohio, fills a very specific niche in the community. The name of their game is twofold: crafting incredible handmade dark chocolate, and catering to particular cultural groups. Here you can experience deluxe dark chocolate that’s not only purely certified star “K” kosher, parve, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free, but uniquely mouthwatering and available in a bounty of flavors. Read on to learn how and why the owner, Nathaniel Nia, strategically re-branded this specialty chocolate shop that has been a staple for all of the particular sweet teeth from Cleveland to Europe since 1993.



Custom Packaging by Tap for the Chocolate Emporium

TAP: The Chocolate Emporium satisfies the sweet cravings of key cultural communities and people with specialty dietary requirements in Northeast Ohio and all over the world. Most understand what “gluten free,” “dairy free,” and “vegan” mean, but not everybody knows the terms “parve” and “kosher.” What do those mean for chocolate?

NN (Nathanial Nia): A kosher product –in our case chocolate- is made by certain guidelines and conforms to the regulation of Kashrut – Jewish dietary law. The term “parve” means that the product is dairy and meat free according to the guidelines of Kashrut. For example, although a product is parve, it may not be safe for people with dairy allergies. Also, parve does not mean vegan. Therefore, a person who doesn’t eat fish or eggs cannot determine from Kosher certification whether a product is free of those ingredients unless it is labeled otherwise.



Custom Packaging by Tap for the Chocolate Emporium

TAP: How did the Chocolate Emporium create its brand identity?

NN: We started on Cedar Rd working out of a small store front. It didn’t take long until people were avid fans of our chocolate. Now after over twenty years of business people all over and especially in Northeastern Ohio turn to us for chocolate.

TAP: How do you approach your packaging strategy? Do you use Tap's Stock Line Confection Packaging, or Custom Brand Packaging?

NN:  I use both — Tap’s confection stock line packaging and Tap’s custom brand packaging. The stock line becomes useful for special occasions. For example, last Valentine’s day, I used one of your red boxes in one of the local grocery stores.

TAP: What makes the Chocolate Emporium special?

NN: We make every piece of our chocolate by hand, here, locally in Ohio. Our chocolate is rich, and delicious yet still accommodates people with strict dietary restrictions. For instance, people who only eat Kosher, vegan, and/or have dairy/ gluten/ nut allergies are still able to enjoy our products.


Back/side view of Custom Packaging by Tap, for the Chocolate Emporium

TAP: Why did the Chocolate Emporium choose Tap Packaging Solutions as their brand consultants and packaging manufacturers?

NN: Tap’s is great. They are friendly, professional and right here in Northeastern Ohio, so it’s convenient.

TAP: Your best advice on how to brand market using packaging?

NN: Someone who wants to compete against other companies in grocery chain stores needs to actually physically go out aisle to aisle and see what the competitors have out on the market. Week to week, it is astounding how many companies open up with new products lining the shelves. That’s why I decided to custom design elegant brand packaging that would stand out on the shelf. We have a great product, but without custom packaging no one would ever even notice it amongst the thousands of others.




Austin Johnson
Austin Johnson