Hey Ed and Rich,
Welcome to Choc Chats! In celebration of National Chocolate Week we thought it was only fitting that you guys take to the stage 😎
For all of those who don't know, Ed and Rich founded D&D. They have been best friends since the age of 5, and left their respective careers to start a business together. N'awwwwww, cute right? 4 years ago, after lots of mad ideas, rogue flavours and a lot of chocolate eating (all in the name of research), Doisy and Dam was born and we are hella glad it's here!🌟
Ready for your questions boys?
...Here we go!
You have lots of weird and whacky flavours, have you ever tried one that really just didn't work?
Rich: Yes plenty! We started out with a chilli and lime bar of dark chocolate that just didn’t work at all, in fact our friends and family that tried it heavily encouraged us to give up then and there…..at least we could only improve from there. We also had a flavour that we loved which was Quinoa, Smoked Tea & Vanilla. We loved it (all of us!) but sadly we had some feedback that said it tasted like smoked cheese.
Ed: The coffee and sprouted buckwheat pattern was my jam. We had to get rid of the flavour because it was one of our slowest sellers but the pattern lives on I tells ya! My sister nearly killed me, it was her favourite flavour..
So, you've just got back from Colombia. In the words of The Backstreet Boys, tell me why?
Ed: Rich and I were just in Colombia for a week visiting the team who grow and process our cocoa for us. That means visiting their best-in-class cocoa research facility, then heading out to the farms to get to know our supply chain as closely as we can. It is such a privilege to be able to go out there – the people are welcoming, happy, lovely and really know their stuff. One of our biggest motivations is make the world of cocoa as a commodity less murky and the best way to do that is to get to the farms yourself and follow the beans all the way to where they’re eventually shipped out to us in the UK.
Rich: The suppliers we use have an incredible impact on Colombia as a whole, being an historic Colombian company they’ve worked tirelessly to try and improve things in a country where the cocoa producing regions were previously ravaged by paramilitary groups and the drug trade. They work closely with local communities to create long-term and sustainable futures for families through cocoa production and we’re lucky enough to be a part of supporting that. It’s been amazing to visit schools and remote villages who haven’t had much exposure to the outside world and witness the positive impact cocoa is having on their lives.
What’ the difference between single origin chocolate and organic chocolate?
Ed: Single-origin and organic are different things but not mutually exclusive. Single-origin is a term which refers to the beans in one bar coming from one origin – usually a country or an area of a country. If you want to narrow down even further you could have single-estate which is from one farm in particular. Organic is when the chocolate has been certified as organic by a certification body, often the Soil Association. Single-origin cocoa can be organic and organic cocoa isn’t necessarily single-origin. Ours for example is single-origin and not certified organic, although it is all organically grown.
Other than D&D, what food and drink are you loving right now?
Rich: I’m loving Ugly drinks - I love fizzy drinks but stopped having any a few years ago because of the sugar, these guys are doing an awesome job of creating a sugar-free alternative that still tastes delish. Other than that the new Moju chili shots are 🔥
Where did the design inspo for the packaging come from?
Ed: We wanted to create something stand-out in a boring looking category. Supermarket chocolate shelves looked homogenous, brown and gold and we wanted to do something more fun, so we set about to find something bold, simplistic and colourful. We were also inspired by the iPhone 5c. I’m a mega-nerd when it comes to Apple products and they were just releasing the iPhone 5c – do you remember those ads with the dancing silhouette people on colourful backgrounds? Yep. Those ones. It wasn’t a rip-off I don’t think, more like a homage :)
D&D is a certified B Corporation. Why is building a sustainable business important for D&D?
Rich: Being a B-Corp is amazing, it gives us a strong set of guidelines for how we choose to run the business as our primary aim is that we should leave behind more than we take, using business as a force for good. We’re working with our cocoa suppliers in Colombia who are close to being certified too and that would give us a fairly unique end-to-end B-Corp certified supply chain. It plays a part in everything we do, whether it’s how we grow our team at D&D HQ, the packaging we use or how we treat our suppliers and customers. We’re huge evangelists of the movement and can’t wait to see it grow over the next few years.
Ed describe Rich in 3 words. Rich describe Ed. GO!
Ed on Rich: Poor Man’s Jobs (as in Steve Jobs not like employment jobs)
Rich on Ed: Creative, Dynamic, Great hair (last one is two words but worth it. The man's got amazing hair)