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Friday, June 22, 2012

Love With Food Let's You Try Before You Buy, Sorta

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 9:00 AM

lovewithfood.jpg

The replenishment box trend has swept start ups throughout the Bay Area and beyond, from shoes-a-month (ShoeDazzle), high-end menswear (TrunkClub), eyewear (Warby Parker) and even razors, with newly launched Dollar Shave Club. Food, of course, has not missed the trend, and with local player Foodzie having recently sold to Joyus, the local independant to watch is Love With Food.

Aihui Ong launched Love With Food in December 2011 to combine foodie deals with good work for the world. The idea is you pay $10-12 a month for a box of eight or more foodie samples, and she donates a meal to a hungry child with each purchase.

You can buy a single month subscription ($12) or a full year ($10 a month) as well as some in-between choices. You get a handsome red box stuffed to the edges with treats to try, and, if you like them, you can buy traditional sizes from Love With Food's site for a discount. We just got our June box and here's a look at what's inside and how it tasted:

Three Pouches Mighty Leaf Tea We've always loved Mighty Leaf, second in our memory of their beautiful silk-like sachets only to Tea Forte. If we hadn't had them before, we'd be happy for the exposure.

Nunes Farms Spicy Cocktail Almonds California Fresh, as it says on the packet, and a pack twice as big as the airline nut packets of old. Nice spice, bitta heat, and good meaty almond flavor not overpowered by the prior. Solid.

Four Pieces of Taffy Town Salt Water Taffy Good, fresh, and exactly what you'd expect of taffy. Only comment would be the lack of any notation so we'd know what flavor to order latter. The butterscotch/caramel one was very good, and particularly impressive for its freshness.

Five Honey Straws from Natures Kicks These aren't labelled either, but the postcard in the box identifies each product.The Juicy Peach honey was a fun sugar shot for mid day.

One Packet Surf Sweet Organic Gummy Bears These taste like gummies, with the benefit of being made from organic fruit juice, although no one is pretending these are tooth-friendly or healthy.

One (huge) Cougar Mountain Gourmet Cookie Noted as Ballpark Cookies, the cookie is as broad as the box. This peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips is semi-soft with a reasonable flavor. Pretty good for a packaged cookie.

Caramel Cob Junior For a "junior" this is a real fistful, with chewy caramel corn in a handy to-go packaging. It has the consistency of a rice crispy treat and flavor not far from it, we'd take this to the ballpark.

Overall, it's clear that Love With Food doesn't skimp, although the reliance on sugar is a bit much this month -- which I suspect was due to the Father's Day emphasis and their "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" theme. I enjoyed the box and felt it delivered its money's worth. It certainly worked out better than the five pairs of Warby Parker glasses I sent back when my wife vetoed them all as ugly, especially as what I'm not eating here will certainly get consumed by the kids. In fact the gummies are long gone, and I see a young one with a cookie in hand now....

Pricing and sign up is available at the Love With Food site here.

Contact Ben Narisin at sfoodieben@gmail.com . Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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Ben Narasin

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