The Empire Crate Box Subscription Review + Coupon – November 2017
The Empire Crate is a monthly subscription box that is filled with top-notch food from across New York state. Each box is hand-picked and hand-packaged to deliver you delicious foods found at farmer’s markets, local food events, and so much more!
The products featured each month come from Brooklyn, Utica, Syracuse, Rhinebeck, Kingston, and Manhattan that The Empire Crate finds on their travels through New York state.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the subscription review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: The Empire Crate
The Cost: $39.95 per month, $112.95 for 3 months prepay, or $212.95 for 6 months prepay + free shipping.
COUPON: Use code SAVE15 to save 15% off your first box!
The Products: “An assortment of 5-7 hand-selected food products from cities and towns across the great state of New York.”
Ships to: U.S.
Good to know: Gift subscriptions are mailed with hand-written notes, also printed in New York!
Be sure to visit the Food Subscription Box Directory to discover more specialty food boxes!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
The Empire Crate box came with this little information booklet that highlights each product and the brand. There is a little bio about the makers which was really fun to read! I love learning about new brands and supporting small businesses.
Let’s see what food is featured in November!
The Ardent Homesteader: Cara-Sel Salted Caramel Sauce, 6 oz. – Retail Value $8.49
This caramel sauce was divine, I was eating it with a spoon straight from the jar! The Ardent Homesteader got its start as a gift to family and friends from owner Kristin, then turned into a larger production to sell at a local farm, and is now produced in the Hudson Valley. This sauce is hand-made with organic sugar, cream, butter, sea salt, and vanilla. Simple yet oh so delicious! The sauce itself is thicker which makes eating it by the spoonful so easy to do, but I could see this being so good paired with apples or sprinkled over ice cream in the summer.
One Culture Foods: Chinese Fermented Black Bean Sauce, 13 oz. – Retail Value $11.99
While the word ‘fermented’ might not be the most appetizing, I can assure you that this sauce smells and tastes incredible! One Culture Foods is made in Port Jervis, NY and was developed to create food with big, bold, in-your-face global flavors. This sauce is a unique update on a Chinese classic by adding black bean, ginger, pineapple juice, and more. Plus, it is made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients. The flavors are very unique with a sweet flavor and hints of salt from the beans. A big bonus is that this jar is huge so I am planning to add this to a few stirfry dishes, chicken, and to a beef and broccoli ramen dish that has become my specialty!
Martin’s Handmade Pretzels, 2.5 oz. – Retail Value $4.00
Remember the scene in You’ve Got Mail where she is munching on the bag of pretzels after roaming through the farmer’s market? If you do, then you will love to learn that these are those pretzels! Martin’s Handmade Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels came to NY 34 years ago and have been a staple for New Yorker’s since. These artisan made pretzels are free of fat, sugar, and preservatives. I enjoyed these crunchy pretzels plain to get those light hints of salt and dipped in mustard. No matter how you enjoy them, they are delicious and so crunchy!
Hungry Bird Nordic Crisps, 3 oz. – Estimated Value $4.88 (Buy a 2 bags for $9.75)
I love the story behind how Hungry Bird Nordic Crisps came about! Tina Diep learned that her son was allergic to nuts and soy which encouraged her to create a snack for her son. She used inspiration from crispbread from her native Denmark and from there is where Hungry Bird came from. Each kiss is small enough for your little one to enjoy and for you as well! Plus, these are super healthy for you with superfoods like chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds. This particular blend is also seasoned with oregano. These crisps are so crunchy and the various seeds give each bite a lovely texture. You can eat these straight from the bag or dipped in hummus, which is how my son and I enjoyed them!
Reach Organics Truffles: Cherry Almond Chunk, 1.8 oz. – Retail Value $5.00
These decadent truffles are also healthy, 100% vegan, and non-GMO Project Certified! The owner Sarah started Reach Organics as she started experimenting with foods for her daughter’s swim club that would be high energy with low sugar and granola. These truffles, in particular, are made with cherries, organic almonds, and vanilla extract. Each bite-sized chocolate has a tart flavor that comes from the cherries and bitterness from the chocolate. The almond provides this unique layer between the cherries that was somewhat crunchy. While I don’t love cherries, I found these truffles to be very unique!
Verdict: This was my first experience with The Empire Crate and was excited to try different brands from New York state. I thought the variety of foods was so vast and unique! You can really feel the curation and love that The Empire Crate puts into selecting each item. Coming from a family that runs a small business, I deeply appreciate that The Empire Crate puts a focus on smaller brands and uses their monthly booklet to highlight them. While I did enjoy the variety in this box, the calculated value came in at $34.36 which was just shy of the monthly cost of $39.95. There is value in the curation, but I would love to see a few more items or one larger product to bring that overall value up slightly.
To Wrap Up:
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No, the December box will be shipping on 12/15.
Value Breakdown: At $39.95 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:
- Salted Caramel Sauce: $9.87
- Chinese Fermented Black Bean Sauce: $13.94
- Handmade Pretzels: $4.65
- Nordic Crisps: $5.67
- Truffles: $5.81
Have you tried The Empire Crate box? What was your favorite product from November?