Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Batch Charleston September 2014 Gourmet Food Subscription Box Review + 10% Discount Code!

At almost six pounds, I think the inaugural Batch Charleston box is the heaviest subscription box I've ever received!  Unfortunately for me, one product I don't like is responsible for three and a half pounds of that...more about that later.  The Batch Nashville people have been spreading their box offerings around to various southern cities including New Orleans, Birmingham, Nashville, Charleston and Atlanta.  If you missed my last review on Batch Memphis that also contains the subscription pricing for the various cities, you can catch up here

I really like the idea of city or destination themed subscription boxes and the southern part of the United States certainly provides ample inspiration. Apparently Charleston is known for its decadent breakfast offerings so the name of this box was the "Rise & Shine Gift Batch".  When I opened this enormous box, I was greeted with a hand written note welcoming me to Batch Charleston.  That is definitely a first that left a great impression! 

Underneath the note and the explanatory card, the goods were packaged underneath a huge mound of brown crinkle shreds wrapped in brown paper.  (I re-use all the packaging I can get for my eBay business so nothing goes to waste in my house!)

This box contained four full size edibles which represent Charleston's rich gastronomic culture.  

The brown information card tells all about the products and how to enjoy them on one side and contains information about the purveyors on the other side.  This was quite helpful as I did not immediately make the connection between two of the products that work together as you'll see below.

There is an enormous 32 oz. bottle of Bloody Mary mix from Fat and Juicy.  Just my opinion but putting such a large item in a subscription box is a huge risk.  Some subscribers will love this item; others like me will have no use for it.  Of course, the latter will see this as a waste. Some waste is inevitable in subscription boxes due to their inherent surprise nature but concentrating so much of the value in one item can really lead to disappointment.  An obvious way to reduce the risk and keep the most possible subscribers happy is to include more and smaller items.  Now I'm in the position of not knowing what to do with this gigantic bottle plus feeling that a large part of the price I paid has really been wasted.  The ultimate risk is having subscribers cancel due to receiving very large unwanted items.

Now that that subject is out of the way, let's look at the less controversial products in this box.  There is a big bag of Callie's Buttermilk Biscuit Mix, charmingly packaged in a fabric bag. All the instructions needed to make a dozen biscuits are on the back. You only have to add butter, cream cheese and buttermilk. (I'm intrigued by the addition of cream cheese!)

Next is an 8 oz. jar of Cinnamon Apple Butter from Food for the Southern Soul. Somehow, it didn't dawn on me that this was meant to be used on the biscuits so I was wondering what to do with it. Thanks to the enlightenment I received on the information card, I now can't wait to try it on the biscuits! 

The last item is a big 12 oz. package of whole bean coffee from Caviar & Bananas Gourmet Market and Cafe.  This one is their House Blend, described as "lively and well-rounded, this elegant roast is refined in its acidity with soft fruit and cocoa-like undertones".  Although I'm not a big coffee drinker, this description sounds really tempting so I may have to try some. There is plenty here to share!

I'm on the fence about this first Batch Charleston box.  It clearly contains quality gourmet items that represent the city beautifully.  But I'm guessing a lot of subscribers would have preferred a larger number of smaller items so as not to get stuck with one or more big items they don't like or can't use. This is just the first box but I'm hoping Batch will be able to add a little profiling in the future that will prevent (for example) their non-drinking customers from getting huge bottles of drink mix.  In the meantime, I can't wait to try the biscuits, apple butter and coffee!

By the way, you can buy most of the Batch collections on a one time basis for a slightly higher price in the "Gift" section of their on-line webstore.  This is a great way to try their products without commitment.  You can also buy a lot of the individual items under the "Shop" tab in their store if you want to pick and choose exactly what you'll receive.

If you'd like to make a purchase from Batch's site, use the code BATCHTASTIC to get 10% off your order. Please be aware that this code is good only for seasonal batch purchases or gift batches. The code does not apply to month to month subscriptions. 

If you have tried any of the Batch subscription boxes, please let me know what you thought in the comments below!


Disclaimer:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased with my own money. Post may contain referral or affiliate links.


Sam Davidson said...

Thanks for sharing what you thought - we really love to hear from customers. And, hopefully you've got a friend who can use the mix. Next month's Tailgate theme is already in the works and will have some smaller items to enjoy.

- Sam (Batch CEO)

Lone Star Shopper said...

So nice to see a plugged in CEO! I can't wait to see what comes in next month's box. Thanks for reading!