Today we were lucky enough to be able to pitch Love Cocoa to the kind people of Virgin and Intu for Foodpreneur of the Year. Check out our Facebook page for the video - I've also put our pitch transcript below as the video is not the best quality.
It was a great experience to be able to pitch to the panel, albeit I was a bit nervous having not had much experience of presenting before. We hope to get to the final 8 and will know next week if we have been successful. Cross your fingers for us!
Chocolate is in our NDA, we aim to make British Chocolate Great again.
Love Coca reinvents British chocolate classics with a modern contemporary approach being free-from: refined sugar, gluten and soya.
The inspiration behind wanting to get into the chocolate business comes from my g-g-g-grandfather who in 1824 set up a grocery shop which also sold hot chocolate. Hot chocolate was incredibly popular at the time however it was chocolate bars which the company wish to develop.
The problem was no-one had mastered how to make a chocolate bar and other manufacturers were adding starches and even brick dust at the time. Cadbury made a breakthrough in 1866 when they bought a machine from Holland which was so pure the British Medical Journatheirognised there bars as being a healthy snack at the time.
It is this that inspired me to setup Love Cocoa at a time when lots of chocolate is full of refined sugars and e-numbers.
Our bars use only the finest organic natural ingredients. We source as much direct from independent producers in the UK such as Mint from Summerdown Farm in Hampshire. We have also partnered with Maldon Sea Salt and Pact Coffee.
Having launched the business online in July last year, this year we have sought to gain retail listings and have secure Fortnum & Mason as our first stockist. We are also in Fenwicks and a few independent store and have just added two distributors to accelerate growth with them having access to over 1000 stores.
We have sold close to 50k chocolate bars to date and are growing every month. We are due to launch a range of smaller bars (30g) which are perfect for customers want affordable luxury and an alternative to a poor quality bar full of refined sugars and other nasty products.
We are also moving into personalisation online and have recently set up a chocolate subscription which has attracted a lot of interest.
We have gained some fantastic reviews online with the site currently having an average rating of 4.8/5*.
We have some really interesting ideas for the pop-up. We want to turn the store into an experience for the customers rather than just selling bars. We would look to offer personalisation and will print on coffee and hot chocolates. We have prior experience of pop-ups having been at Old St with Appear Here for 2 weeks early this year.