Personalised Smarties. They’re such a simple idea, one that’s perfect for bomboniere yet, until recently, the only way to have them at your wedding was to import them from the US, a process that was cumbersome, time consuming and costly – if it could be done at all.
However, after three years of local development and testing, award-winning Australian bomboniere company Chocolate Works has finally brought the process Down Under.
“Personalised Smarties are one of the hottest wedding bomboniere trends in the world, yet only one American company offered them for so many years,” says Tamara Bulluss, co-owner of the Melbourne-based company, which caters for more than 600 couples each year.
“They wouldn’t ship them to Australia, so you had to organise for the personalised sweets to be shipped to someone living there and have them on-shipped to you.
“The whole process could take six months and the cost of shipping them to Australia from the US was around $200 and sometimes more,” adds Tamara. “That was usually more than the cost of the sweets. Of course, that’s no longer a problem since you can now buy them from within Australia.”
Chocolate Works’ locally developed machine pumps out tens of thousands of personalised Smarties every day. It uses a top-secret process to print words in edible ink on the surface of genuine Nestle Smarties in seven colours or Beanies, in eight colours, if you’re after a white base for your designs.
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The company’s most requested wedding-related orders are the couple’s initials and their wedding date and, with Australia’s peak wedding season about to hit – as well as the corporate Christmas season – personalised Smarties are so popular right now, there’s a three-month waiting list.
Batches of personalised Smarties are sold by the kilo with one logo, pattern or design per kilo.
Tamara says many couples opt for two to four kilos with, for example, one kilo containing the couple’s names or initials on it, one kilo with their wedding date and, perhaps another kilo printed with love hearts or the words ‘Just Married’.
“The only thing we won’t do is photos,” says Tamara who started Chocolate Works with her husband Graeme 14 years ago. Today, they’re Australia’s biggest manufacturer of custom-made bomboniere and everything is made fresh-to-order with nothing being produced more than two weeks before the delivery date.
“It’s not that we can’t do photos of the couple, but on a rounded surface that is just 1.5 cms wide, even the most beautiful bride and groom usually come out looking a little odd and we don’t want that for anyone on their wedding day!”
In the 18 months Chocolate Works has been offering personalised Smarties, they’ve printed more than one million of the colourful morsels and among their clients are such international names as Google, BP and Richoh.
“What I love about personalised Smarties is that they’re very different. We specialise in bomboniere and our best-selling item is our chocolate bar range which we personalise for weddings – right down to matching the fonts and patterns on your invitations with the chocolate bar’s wrappers,” says Tamara.
“But people just don’t seem to be able to get enough of personalised Smarties and not just for weddings.
“We recently had a woman whose husband adored Smarties, so she had the words “We’re Expecting’ printed on a batch and used his favourite sweets as a way of informing him that their second child was on their way.
“Boy did he get a surprise, a very nice one, but a surprise nonetheless!”
Visit Chocolate Works for more information. They ship nationally.