We are a small team of 5 full time staff (including me) and two part timers. Our business is located in a small hamlet, just outside St Ives. We sell our raw chocolate and fudge in three ways - via our own shop in St Ives, online and to wholesalers. Our turnover is currently £300,000 - split 50/50 between wholesale and retail. We also attend food festivals in order to attract more customers.
Just over a year ago, we invested in a wrapping machine. Up until then, we had hand wrapped the range. The wrapping machine has enabled us to expand production and we now supply companies like ITSU, Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic and Infinity Foods. Without moving premises and for the cost of creating a a cold room, we could more than double the turnover. This would provide employment for three more full time staff. The problem with West Cornwall is that there is virtually no all year round employment, particularly for the young. Jobs are very seasonal but as we sell raw chocolate and fudge, our Christmas and Easter trade means that all our staff have jobs throughout the year.
Our raw chocolate and fudge is dairy free, gluten free, soya free with no added refined sugar, which means as well as being vegan, it is also suitable for coeliacs and diabetics. However, it has gone mainstream and most people buy it because they love it! We use only organic and fair trade ingredients. The product does need to be kept refrigerated but has a 6 month shelf life.