Our goal, when creating the mahogany line, was to handcraft the most beautiful chocolate gift box in the world. It was obvious that a noble and rich material was needed to accomplish this objective. We therefore turned towards mahogany for its tight grain and beautiful red undertones. Laden with chocolates comparable to precious gemstones and inspiring the name of each box, the superb craftsmanship of this line will astound you as we wanted to shape a box as exceptional as the treasures inside.
Atop the lid of each mahogany box in our Occasional and Seasonal collections, a sharp golden cut-out is inlaid into a specifically-fit laser-carved encrustation. The inlays vary according to the collection themes of the boxes: a heart for the Romantic collection, a cursive “Happy Birthday” inscription for the Birthday collection, a pharmaceutical symbol for the Survival Kit collection, double entwined hearts for the Wedding & Anniversary collection, a cursive “Thank You” inscription for the Thank-You collection, hobby-related images for the Hobby collection, a holiday-related image for the Holiday collection and a proud Z logo for our Institutional collection.
Our boxes are handcrafted in France in the heart of the Jura region, a mountainous area in Eastern France near the Swiss border known for its richness in arts and crafts. We collaborate with one of the last two traditional woodworkers to deliver true handcrafted, made-in-France products.
This splendid wood, that we import from African tropical forests, with entwined vein patterns, has been most commonly used since the Antique era in woodworking and since the 19th century by stringed-instrument makers due to its excellent workability making it a favorable and durable wood for various craftings. Its uniqueness comes from the fineness of its grain, its light-weight and its reddish-brown color, which darkens over time and displays a reddish sheen when polished. To encourage and preserve employment in Africa, our choice of mahogany is cultivated and pre-cut locally before it is imported in France in bark-covered board form.
It was essential for us to produce a fine gift box of durable quality - the process of finger-jointing our boxes would guarantee additional strength and a smoother-looking surface. With this technique, the glued facades are on the side grain rather than end grain allowing the side-surface to soak more glue in due to the jointing pressure - an intricate and more time-consuming method of handcrafting that adds all the more value to each box.
Individually handcrafted by a woodworker therefore making each case entirely nonpareil, it is essential for us to stamp each box with the cachet of uniqueness by carving the box's own serial number to its underside. This given sense of identification is to remind our customers that each box is handmade with passion and pride.
You may customize the brass plate located inside the lid with a personal photo, corporate logo or themed-image from our library.
Personalize your mahogany box by adding a 25-character message to a brass plate affixed directly to the front or side of the box.
Enter the zChocolat universe as you go through all the above steps in a video-report covering the “making of” our mahogany boxes.
This traditional wood-working requires a veritable know-how, for the entire process is decomposed in 17 meticulous and precise steps.
1. Fragmenting of the mahogany boards.
2. Second-cut of fragments to obtain the “carrelet”: a thin strip of wood.
3. Cleaning of the “carrelet” to smoothe out the material.
4. Carving of the finger-jointed panels.
5. Leveling of the panel thickness.
6. Assembly of the box.
7. Sanding of the box to reveal its rounded ridges.
8. First layer of varnish is applied.
9. One layer of wood protector (to plug the wood pores) is applied.
10. Removal of all imperfections with the help of a gear wheel.
11. Cutting of the box's lid.
12. Beveling of the edges and positioning of the hinges.
13. Application of a second varnish layer.
14. Placement of the clasp.
15. Cutting into the lid of the box to insert the golden Z logo.
16. Setting of the golden cut-out into the carved logo emplacement atop the lid.
17. Carving of the box's serial number.