Caught between seasons in a world badly in need of continuous unconditional love, Valentine’s Day provides the opportune opportunity to give love — and why shouldn’t it be in the form of chocolate? Tradition and philanthropy inspire an incredibly experimental box of chocolates this season from L.A.-based artist and one of L.A. Weekly’s 2019 People of the Year, Alexandra Grant, and her charitable grantLOVE project.
In collaboration with Beverly Hills-based andSons Chocolatiers, the limited edition “LOVE” Box is an assortment of heart-shaped bonbons and classic European ganaches created by acclaimed chef Kriss Harvey and fit into an adorable keepsake box with design by graphic designer Kate Johnston, and Grant’s love icon printed on top. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to grantLOVE, Grant’s personal project that produces and sells original artworks and editions to benefit artist projects and arts nonprofit organizations.
The multimedia artist started grantLove projects in 2008 with the intention of supporting artists and arts education, a company that is a symbol of artist philanthropy. She explains, “I basically make different editions, whether it’s prints or beach towels or chocolates, with different artists and different companies. The opportunity to work in food came last year and we did our first LOVE Box with Marc and Phil.” AndSons is a family business started by brothers Marc and Phil Covitz, who grew up in their family chocolate shop in Beverly Hills. After it closed, they decided to get back in the business and started making their own chocolates, creating their own company. Their mom was on the board at MOCA and with this deep interest in the arts, they approached Grant to work together. The LOVE Box truly is a partnership in their real desire to support the arts.
Purchasing the LOVE Box is positive action in the world, and the experience itself is touched with value. Chef Harvey, once part of the unique and delicious molecular gastronomy experience at the SLS Hotel, delivers serious flavor in these treats. Through his expertise and experimentation, the LOVE box casts a spell with pieces like caramelized honey ganache with lime caramel, hazelnut praline with black currant caramel, a trio of tropical caramels (coconut, passion fruit, guava) with blonde chocolate, and signature ganaches such as coffee pecan and basil lime. His highly creative approach and aesthetic is the perfect compliment to this artistic box, the charity and our palate.
“You’re getting the box, but what you’re really getting is the highest level graphic design — and it’s the chocolates that are really at the heart of it,” Grant tells L.A. Weekly. “They are so experimental in the best way. This is not just another box of chocolates. What we hope in making these boxes, because the artwork is actually printed on top of the boxes, is that people will keep them as a keepsake box. We wanted people to have this experience, I’ve been thinking a lot about being a child again and the pleasure of keeping a little box and keeping things in it, you remember that? We want to equate this experience. You can keep the artwork, you can keep the box, and you can enjoy the chocolates. It’s not just something very quick.”
Inspired by Paul Newman and Newman’s Own, grantLOVE is a philanthropic company, rooted deeply in the idea of giving. “I really love the idea that I can work with artists or companies and then offer a strong visual identity that communicates. My dream is for the grantLove symbol to sort of be like the Red campaign so that you know when you’re buying something with it on there you’re supporting the arts or arts education,” Grant said.
The LOVE Box is available for purchase at andSons’ Beverly Hills store, online and will be available for sale at Grant’s pop-up at Frieze LA, the latter specifically benefiting the Heart of Los Angeles, an after-school art program for kids in Grant’s neighborhood, MacArthur Park.
Grant expressed that the box is for everyone, “It can be romantic but we want the box to be more possibility, more open. If you want to, give it as a romantic, or if you want to, give it as a friend. It’s not just predicated on romantic love.”