we will be able to:
- Open 2 new pop-up market stalls
- Provide work for 4 employees at the new market stalls paid over 20% more than the national minimum wage.
- Buy a commercial-grade oven so we can spread our chocolate dream around the world.
we will be able to:
Who we are
We are Rafal & Marcin, two hospitality sector professionals with 15+ years of experience in the industry. We are based in central London. We enjoy travelling, discovering new cuisines, we make fantastic sourdough pizza from scratch, and as it turns out, our entrepreneurial flair comes through, among other things, in baking.
How it all started
When the first lockdown happened, and both of us got furloughed, we wanted to do something to cheer our friends up, and bring them smiles and happiness; we also wanted to find a way of generating some extra revenue to help us pay our bills. We brainstormed many ideas, and since we had always been keen food makers ourselves, we decided to try our hand at baking, as this was something easily done from home. We chose brownies as an ultimate chocolate treat, and we set up the Chocolate Dino Company.
We had very limited resources available to us, and so we developed our own chocolate brownie recipe, came up with some unusual flavours, sourced packaging, trialled it by sending our brownies to our friends, family and ourselves. We also designed and created ourselves Chocolate Dino website and online store. All of this we achieved in 3 weeks, working from home.
The feedback we were receiving from our circle of testers was enthusiastically encouraging, and we embarked on building on the momentum. We baked our first online order at the end of May, just a few weeks before Father's Day in the UK. Father's Day week was our busiest week ever, and after we reached 300 orders, we had to close our online sales. The rumour has it, we made a bunch of dads really happy chaps, enjoying the sweet treats on their day! Fun fact, we only found out weeks later that our brownie gift box was recommended by Metro newspaper as a perfect Father's Day gift.
How things developed
At this point, we knew we were onto something great! We developed our range further, adding gluten-free and vegan options to our offering. We also added to our online store New York-style giant chocolate cookies. Those proved an instant hit with our customers, especially Chocolate Orange cookie, our very own creation.
Unfortunately, after the lockdown was finished, only one of us was fortunate to return to his day job. Rafal lost his job as a result of how Covid affected the economy. What started as a side project for both of us, suddenly became our lifeline we would find our financial well being depends on.
We knew we wanted, and had to do more, and after some weeks of research, we managed to secure our first pop-up stall location at the famous Brick Lane market in London! Every weekend for 5 weeks we offered our brownies and hot cookies (yes, we warmed them up on-site in our little oven) to our customers, many of who, to our delight, became regulars visiting our stall every week! We invested all our profits to make sure we offer the best chocolate brownie and cookie experience out there; we also started making plans to open a second market location.
Therefore, the second lockdown delivered an absolute blow to all our proposals. It also meant that we practically lost much-needed revenue stream due to the indoor market having to close down when things were starting to look promising.
Where we are now
And here we are, in the middle of a second lockdown, and doing our best to survive. We never give up, and we decided to take our chances and trade at the market outdoors, which comes with its many challenges. Rain or sunshine, we spend our weekends welcoming our every customer and making their life more chocolaty. We constantly innovate, adding more cookie flavours to our range; we have just developed our Chocolate DINO Christmas Festive Brownie Box.
We are also working on our second biggest project called Cookie Factory by Chocolate Dino Company! We plan to launch a sub-brand and bring to you, and all cookie lovers, even bigger, sexier, richer and more fabulous cookies than you have ever tried and tasted before!
Our dream is to be able to grow and develop Chocolate DINO and Cookie Factory even more. We see ourselves building a sustainable business, which values and rewards its people. A business that plays fair and does good, no tricks - just treats! A business where quality is at the heart of everything that we do.
How we achieve our dream
To achieve our dream, we decided to crowdfund for our project. To be successful and overcome the obstacles and challenges we face now, we ask you for your help and your support.
We will use the funds raised through this initiative to secure ample stock of our bespoke packaging and avoid availability issues we are battling with now as we are relying on off-the-shelf ready solutions. We plan to buy a commercial-grade mixer to improve our capacity. And most importantly, we aim to launch our sub-brand, Cookie Factory, to bring even more amazing, heavenly, crazy cookies, just like you told us, we intend to bring the heavy artillery, because it is never enough of chocolate life one can have!
If we are lucky enough to reach our stretch target, we will open in the new year two more market pop-up locations, providing part-time work for up to 4 employees. We will also buy a commercial oven, and the long term dream is for us to rent a permanent commercial kitchen as well, to create a happy workplace for ourselves and our team.
To achieve our goals and realise our dream, and very importantly, to allow us to stay financially independent, we need your help. Therefore, we are asking for your support to our crowdfunding. In return, we have got some amazing rewards we offer to you.
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.