My name is Bertie Herrtage, I’m a coach here at Crowdfunder UK and I’m on an adventure. Since August I have been travelling across the UK, from Cornwall to Scotland, meeting with and interviewing 10 of my favourite projects. These 10 wonderful stories will form the basis of a publication which I myself am putting together, with the aim of shining a light on all of the good things that are happening and the incredible people behind them.

In 2018, The Chocolarder raised £19,062 from 270 supporters on Crowdfunder.co.uk

The Chocolarder ‘is one of the only small batch bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the country’, producing fine quality, stone ground chocolate using organic beans imported from single estate, family run plantations in Venezuela, Java, Madagascar, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

Photography by Jasper Fry Photography

Mike and James were the first project on our list to visit. They are soon to move into their recently crowdfunded site in Porthleven but for now, are based on a small industrial park in Ponsanooth near Falmouth. Having worked with Mike I’m excited to properly meet him. He is a very laid back guy with a good heart and a manner that’s easy to get on board with. Their slick branding and impressive market positioning in the likes of Fortnum & Masons and Selfridges, means that as a small independent Cornish business, they are punching well above their weight. I’ve never been in somewhere with as potent a chocolate smell as this place. The scent of chocolate and cocoa is heavy in the air and I’m sure clings to Mike and James in equal measure, after all they themselves look like they may have been dipped in chocolate. It’s absolutely everywhere.

Photography by Jasper Fry Photography

The ‘crowdfunding sweet spot’ The reason Mike’s crowdfunding campaign worked so well is because they have a quality brand with an uncompromising social and sustainable ethos, the natural product of which is a world class piece of chocolate. They are in what we call ‘the crowdfunding sweet spot’, not just because of the chocolate they make but because they fit right in the middle of this Venn diagram which shows you why someone might choose to pledge on your project. In their case, people can really get onboard with their approach to making ethically sourced honest chocolate and by supporting them, they can choose a reward which gives them that delicious product in return. Here are some of their most popular rewards:

  • £12 – Three best selling Chocolarder chocolate bars (100 claimed)
  • £50 – Exclusive chocolate factory tour (22 claimed)
  • £100 – A chocolate making workshop for two (21 claimed)

Their crowdfunding campaign was so much more than finding further capital to facilitate their move, it gave them an opportunity to involve their existing customer base and audience in a huge and important mile stone along their journey. By opening up their gates and letting people in to understand more about their chocolate and where the brand is going, they were able to deepen this relationship, building stronger advocates for what they do and enhance the lifetime value of their customers. That’s what we’ve found from crowdfunding, if you invite people to join you on this journey, they’ll be with you for life!

Photography by Jasper Fry Photography

A great pointer to remember when you’re putting together a crowdfunding project page of your own on our website is to make sure that if you’ve got a beautiful product on offer, then you’ve included some great photos. Pledging on a crowdfunding campaign is no different to any other purchase on the web, you have to know what you’re buying and if you don’t give those who visit your page enough information then they are unlikely to want to part with any cash. Crowdfunding Tip: Build supporter numbers onto your page early on by offering a fantastic rewards at great value. You can limit the number available which makes them exclusive and convinces people to make a pledge in the first instance, instead of waiting to see how the campaign develops.