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Mantry Subscription Box Review – February 2016

Lindsey Morse
ByLindsey MorseMar 8, 2016 | 4 comments


4.2 overall rating
43 Ratings | 2 Reviews

Mantry is a subscription box that describes itself as “the modern man’s pantry.”


They ship gourmet food items in their signature wooden crate.

Mantry sent us this box at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)


The Subscription Box: Mantry

The Cost: $49 bimonthly (Previously $75 per month. See below for details.)

The Products: Artisan foods for the modern man’s pantry.

Ships to: US only.

Check out all of our Mantry reviews and the Food Subscription Box Directory!


This month’s theme is “Cabin Fever.”


Each box comes with a fold out card detailing the producers behind the food included and where in the US they’re based.


This box also contained a note from Mantry’s curator.


Primo Berry Pasilla Preserves (10 oz.)- $9

Pasilla peppers are one of the “holy trinity” of dried chiles used in Mexican mole, and their flavor can be described as having “berry-raisin-cocoa overtones.” I love the idea of  adding chiles to fruity jam, and the I’m pleased to report that the combination is delicious. Primo recommends pairing the jam with brie, Telaggio, and aged sheep’s milk cheeses.


Honey Chipotle Peanut Butter by Eliot's Adult Nut Butters (12 oz.)- $8.99

Chipotle and peanut butter? Honestly, I had some reservations about this flavor combination, but I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I might. The chipotle peppers add a smoky tingle that turns this peanut butter into something totally unexpected. I don’t know that I’d like to eat this on a PB&J, but I think it would be great with veggies.


Ranchline All Natural Ch'arki (2 oz.)- $6

Jerky pops up pretty regularly in Mantry boxes. (Vegetarians should note that there’s usually at least one meaty product in every box.) I like jerky, and I tore into this packet before fully investigating the label. I immediately discovered that this isn’t ordinary jerky. Ch’arki is made with lamb, so the flavor is much richer and gamier than the beef jerky I usually buy. I think this is my first time trying lamb jerky, and I like it.


Laurie & Sons Dangerously Delicious Black Licorice Chocolate Toffee (1.375 oz.)- $6

I love foods that blend sweet and salty flavors, and this toffee perfectly balances the two. It’s chocolaty and buttery and made with real black licorice, star anise, Pernod liqueur, and black Hawaiian lava salt. This product won a 2015 gold sofi award in the category of “Outstanding Chocolate.” I’m not surprised; this candy is packed full of fantastic flavor!


Cocoa Sante Hot Cocoa Assortment (4 packets)- $8

When I think of cabin cuisine, hot chocolate is the first thing that comes to mind. After a long day of skiing, there’s nothing like curling up in front of the fireplace with a mug of cocoa! This assortment includes the following flavors: Azteca (cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and a dash of chipotle pepper), Nor-Easter (mellow cocoa and malt), Kashmir Spice (cocoa with cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger), and Parisian (dark chocolate flakes, vanilla, and cocoa).


Ethiopian Sidamo Whole Bean Coffee by Dave's (12 oz.)- $11.95

Whether it’s a hot cup first thing in the morning or a spiked mug after dinner, coffee is another cabin must-have! Dave’s Ethiopian Sidamo is medium roasted and is citrusy, crisp, and chocolaty.


Update: Mantry recently announced that they will be making a few changes to their subscription. Boxes will now ship every two months (instead of monthly) and will cost $49 (vs. $75). The first shipment any subscriber receives will come packaged in Mantry’s signature wooden crate, and subsequent boxes will ship in a mailer. More details about these changes can be found here.

Verdict: Mantry always sends an incredible selection of artisanal products from small domestic producers, and I like the items they picked to fit this month’s “Cabin Fever” theme. I think the coffee and cocoa are especially fitting. (Who doesn’t enjoy an Irish coffee or a hot mug of cocoa after a long day skiing?) While I’m almost always impressed by the items Mantry sources for their subscription, I have struggled with the cost to value ratio of their boxes. This box, for example, included $50 worth of products. For $75 per month, that’s not great value, so I’m pleased to see they’re substantially lowering the cost. If they can maintain their current average value and strong curation, I think the changes they’re making will be a great improvement.

Have you tried any of the products in this month’s Mantry? What do you think about the recently announced changes?

Starting at $225.00
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Mantry helps you create "The Modern Man's Pantry". This bi-monthly food subscription box contains 5-6 full-size premium food products from artisans across the US.

The products packed into each wooden Mantry crate have been painstakingly curated around different monthly themes (like "Ba... read more.
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle. 

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I am really glad to see this! I always loved their product selection but their price for product never really made sense. The packaging was great (still getting the initial crate for the first one is smart), I felt that was where the value was lost because I thought ‘oh maybe it is too heavy to ship’. I think re-examining is the best option. I hope they close the gap more but I am happy to see this improvement and after YEARS! of following reviews, I may actually now follow a couple more months to see if they tighten the gap of price to value of products then start subscribing!!

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Soooooo……$50 worth of goods, for $100. With some back story about producers.
I really can’t see the value here. I care about what I cook. Most of the time. If I want to
mix small producer products with my regular groceries, there are many channels with which to do this. Not least, drop into a farmer’s / producer’s market, sample the products and buy what flicks my switch. Or, I’ll subscribe to a recipe channel I identify with, but buy at retail prices. I’m happy to pay a premium direct to a producer. But paying double to a middle man? Nooooo way.
Hint. If you’re having to drop your price because of customer push back – if this is the case – then your model/product is wrong. And. If you can’t make it work in Manhattan, if this is where most of your current customer base is, its not going to fly, beyond the five boroughs.

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So you only get the crate once now? That sucks. My husband liked collecting them & reusing them for garage storage. Probably won’t subscribe again since the crate itself was half the fun for me.

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Tony Hancock

Hi Ann,

Thanks for the feedback. We decided to only ship the crate with the first month after having 1 on 1 conversations with hundreds of our customers. The large majority love our crate, but only really need one or two around the house!

You can get another crate anytime you’d like by ordering a single Mantry gift, which will always come with the crate, or if you need a bunch for a project, email our help desk and we can work something out.

Tony @ Mantry

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