We kicked off the year in January – where the popular vegan diet campaign Veganuary saw a record high number of participant sign ups. With our entire range of chocolates being Vegan Society certified, not to mention Dam delicious, we were able to cater to everyone – especially with a national lockdown meaning people were still sending each other little packages of joy. We also launched into Cotswold Fayre, an awesome B Corp certified wholesaler on a mission to bring speciality and fine food to retail.
February saw Valentines’ Day and we decided to celebrate by turning our salted chocolate truffles from a seasonal treat to being available all year round. This meant that we could give our fans (and their Valentines) what they were after by making them available online. Haven’t tried how good they are yet? Don’t just take our word for it, here’s a review from Mike via Amazon: “They’re amazing. Make sure you buy two boxes so your other hand doesn’t feel left out”. February also saw our D&D chocolate drops grow in distribution in Sainsbury’s, meaning more rainbow chocolate for everyone. Perfect for baking with, or nibbling by the handful.
March was a knockout. It was Easter, which is the highlight of the year for a chocolate company, and this year was no exception. Thanks to the return of our Good Eggs (think a vegan, palm oil free version of a well-known mini, egg-shaped classic) – our website sales were four times that of March 2020. Holland & Barrett also enjoyed the success of the Good Eggs, by having them on every till point in every store, and selling an impressive tens of thousands of units in the run up to the long weekend. We were also able to bring back our Almond Nuttercup Easter egg, which won Good Housekeeping’s Best Vegan Egg, and we used the packaging to tell the story of our awesome cocoa supplier Luker Chocolate, and the charitable initiatives we are supporting with them in Colombia.
Plus, March was B Corp Month – a month to celebrate the B Corp certification – and the overall movement of using business as a force for good. We enjoyed partnering with other B Corps and celebrating the epic work they do. DAME, Finisterre, TOAST and LEAP to name just a few, thanks again for being awesome.
April saw Earth Day – which we celebrate every day by choosing to exclude palm oil from our chocolate – but celebrated extra hard this year, by planting a tree for every product sold on our website for the week of Earth Day. The result? 160 new mangrove trees planted across Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique. Thanks Eden Reforestation Project and Verdn.
Plus, our truffles made their way into BBC Good Food magazine, described by Anna Lawson as “I’m a huge fan of salted chocolate and this is some of the best I’ve tried. The smooth, silky ganache in the centre of these truffles perfectly balances out the dark chocolate exterior with just a hint of sea salt. Plus, they’re vegan-friendly." We were pretty chuffed, especially as April saw us receive our certification that the wrappers were suitable for home composting. How’s that for 100% taste and 0% waste.
Finally, as we wrap up where we are now in May, we’re thrilled to have been able to partner with TRIBE, Backyard Cinema and Books That Matter to gift chocolate to great causes. We’ve been lining up our summer activity and gearing up to our brand new product launch. We also celebrated our share bags launching into Boots, as well as our new listings onto the speedy delivery services Getir and Zapp and in the zero waste online store Good Club Co.
That said, it wouldn’t be business without some lows to go with the highs, and we’ve had a fair few challenges so far in 2021. With lockdown restrictions still in place for the majority of the year, we’re still seeing the impact of lack of footfall on high streets affecting our on-the-go ranges. We’re working towards our B Corp recertification, which is proving tricky as we’ve grown so much as a business since our first certification in 2017. We’re later than we’d have liked on our plastic strategy, as we work towards making every product in our range housed in recyclable packaging, but find ourselves with hard decisions to make, and working proactively with our suppliers, which is never easy as a small company. Lastly, we’re always innovating and working around 18 months ahead in terms of product development – so it’s always a challenge to have one focus on the now, and one on the future and its timelines – but after all, when it’s something we’re passionate about, we love to do it. Plus, we always ensure any excess or short dated stock finds its way to a good home, like with the great guys at Fareshare.
Looking forward to the rest of the year, we’ve got three exciting new launches coming out in between now and Christmas. An extension of our share bag range, an addition to our best-selling truffles, and a brand new way to shop with us online. All this, plus new store listings and upgrades to our current range mean we’re never without reason to crack open the chocolate and celebrate.
If you’d like to join us on our journey, we’re kicking off a crowdfunding campaign soon. Sign up to our mailing list via our website for your chance to find out more!