Premium chocolate start-up secures investment only to walk away from deal afterwards 


23rd December 2018: Love Cocoa, a premium chocolate start-up developed by James Cadbury (the great-great-great grandson of the original Mr John Cadbury) went head-to-head with BBC’s Dragons’ Den investors on Sunday night, securing two offers from Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani before accepting the latter’s deal. 

Love Cocoa was set up by Cadbury in 2016 after he left his job as a city trader to pursue his business dream, following in his family’s footsteps. His luxury handmade chocolate brand reinvents British favourites with contemporary twists, (think Gin & Tonic, Earl Grey and English Mint) delivered through your letterbox the very next day.  Cadbury was in the den asking the Dragons for £75k for a 5% share of the business. The money was to be invested in two key areas of the business: developing new products including those using online personalisation, and expanding the Love Cocoa team.

The deal with Tej Lalvani saw Cadbury revert to the infamous wall twice to think about his options before finally accepting £75k for a 15% share. However, following a series of lengthy discussions and having met Lalvani several times after the episode was filmed, Cadbury has since decided to go it alone.

Love Cocoa received a unanimously positive response from the Dragons who all praised the quality of the chocolate and the brand’s ethical and sustainable credentials (10% of profits go to the Rainforest Foundation). Viewers also saw an open and frank discussion about previous investment in the brand. 

Cadbury commented: “It was a tough process that was also incredibly nerve-wracking; I felt the pressure of having to uphold the family name. To be invited onto the show was an amazing experience both in terms of the potential investment and exposure, but the final deal was not quite what I wanted. Tej is a great entrepreneur and a true gentleman; he completely understood and we left on good terms.”

Since filming in May 2018, Love Cocoa has seen substantial growth driven by new stockists such as John Lewis coming on board, as well as a focus on exports, which now account for 30% of the business’s revenue. With turnover upwards of £700,000 and the brand due to launch in Paperchase and Ocado in the new year, the future looks bright for the Cadbury heir.

Read on at BQ Live


About Love Cocoa

Love Cocoa reinvents British favourites with contemporary twists to produce luxury handmade chocolate delivered through your letterbox the very next day. Created by James Cadbury, the great-great-great grandson of Mr Cadbury, James is on a mission to share his ancestors’ ambition to create quality, ethical products. The brand takes great care in sourcing its chocolate from sustainable sources and guaranteeing cocoa farmers a higher than market price. That’s why 10% of profits go to the Rainforest Foundation, the charity that supports people living in and around the world’s rainforests to protect their environment. Love Cocoa is available online and via John Lewis, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. Read more about Love Cocoa's Story here. 

Love Cocoa Product Image


Your story is a great one and I wish you all the very best . Your grandfathers business and how they operated with a social Consious is amazing and how businesses should operate . Your stance against Cadbury tax dodging is quite right.

Wish you all the the best of health and success in your venture


Darren Young August 03, 2020

Good luck to your company. Have the jealous comments some posters are referring to been removed, as I can’t see any? Best of luck for the future.

Vanessa Eden August 03, 2020

Great to see this story unfold! Your chocolate is wonderful. Maybe Peter Jones could have accelerated you further but you’re going to do well whatever! 😃

Roy Tyler March 11, 2020

Amazing News,well done James and the team!!

Jason Hughes April 29, 2020

Met Peter Cadbury in Obuasi Ghana whilst I was working there I have not partaken of the brand name chocolate since the takeover I have tried your love cocoa Have you considered either crowd funding or small shares ?

John Bagley April 29, 2020

Stopped eating Cadbury since the takeover but look forward to trying James Cadburys products. Hoping he can resurrect and improve on some of the original concepts of Cadbury brand. Good Luck James

Kim April 29, 2020

Found these bars at Winners in Ontario, Canada. Bought different flavours and gave them out for Easter.. Big hits! Keep it up❣

Samm April 29, 2020

Just found your chocolate today at Sheppy’s Cider – fantastic taste. We’ll done.

Peter April 29, 2020

Loved my first bar of Love Cocoa. Most of my family worked in Cadbury’s Moreton factory so I grew up on their chocolate and even bought shares – which I immediately sold when Kraft came on the scene. When will I be abke to buy shares in Love Cocoa?

Eva April 29, 2020

Such a shame to see bitter comments below!
Fantastic company and DELICIOUS chocolate! Best of luck for the future, I will be back for more chocolate soon :).

Rebecca January 08, 2019

Chocolate looks interesting! As 1 stated in here bring the name back to the nation; as that old stuff just tastes like sugar since craft bought it. All the best and love the fact you donate 10% fantastic!

Tim December 31, 2018

A lot of jelous comment on here. Great heritage and it seems great chocolate. Well done James, I am sure your product will soar. Good luck.

Paul December 27, 2018

Some very sad and bitter people around as per some of the above comments. I am sure many will agree that this young chap makes fine chocolate and is rightfully attempting to capitalise on his heritage in the process.

Let’s support the firm that holds the principles of what Cadburys stood for, while sweetening your palette.

Heroes December 27, 2018

Wow what jealous comments above!! Grow up.

Good luck with it all

Bob December 27, 2018

Change your name to Smith and then see how well you do.

Dave December 25, 2018

Loved this episode on Dragon’s Den all the very best for the future.

Neil Harries December 24, 2018

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