In the second Supplier Spotlight, I am chatting with Kris from The Raw Chocolate Company and he has some amazing insights to share with us! You can see the full range of chocolate I stock here. Read on for the full interview.
Tell me about yourself and your role at the company?
“Hi I’m Kris and I look after sales at The Raw Chocolate Company and Conscious Chocolate. I also work on new product development and am deputy chief taster number one. I am part of the management team and involved in most aspects of the business in some way.”
What did you do before you started working there?
“Immediately before diving into chocolate I was a Senior Project Manager for a climate change charity, helping promote innovative responses and practical solutions above and beyond energy efficiency and renewable technologies. I also managed the UK’s first 100% organic supermarket, was a chef at an Italian restaurant, managed a t-shirt chain, was a graphic designer and lived in a tree for a while. “
How many people does the company employ?
“We currently have 15 people and still expanding.”
Where are you based?
“I am in Gloucester, but our factory is in Sussex”
Where do you source your products/ingredients/materials from?
“Our cacao products are from Peru and this is the main thing that we use – cacao nibs, cacao powder, cacao butter. Our other key ingredient is coconut sugar which we source from Indonesia. In terms of the cacao, it comes from a wide range of very small farms, possibly up to 300. We’re working closer and closer with them as we get bigger. We’re currently working with them on a reforestation programme.”
What is the businesses biggest achievement or impact to date?
“We’ve been recognised a few times for our eco credentials, ranking top in Ethical Consumer magazine with a score of 18/20. We’re currently applying for BCorp status, and we’re very proud of both these things. In November we chose not to take part in black Friday and instead invented “Give Back Friday” which involved tree planting. So far we’ve planted 1500 trees in Peru helping to reforest the area where our cacao comes from. It was such a success that we are keeping the project on year round.”
Are you developing anything new that you can share with us?
“You already know about the salted chocolate hazelnuts and we have a whole heap of other goodies coming soon…look out for more chocolate buttons and drops soon as well and some completely new ranges 🙂 “
What is your favourite eco product and why?
“I like making presents myself, and like it even more if they are re-purposed. For example I make belts and collars from old bicycle tyres and fire hose. I love making very limited edition chocolates for people too – the factory got a massive vegan marshmallow rocky road chocolate fridge cake from me topped with vanoffee R2D2s for Christmas! “