Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024.

Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024.

2023 was amazing! From our first event at York Chocolate Festival in April, to rounding the year out at the incredible York Xmas Markets, back where we started, we’ve had a hell of a year.

  • In just 6 months on Instagram, we hit over 1,250 followers organically – all thanks to you guys believing our content to be interesting/funny/mildly less irritating than most Instagram posts...
  • Our new bars had their moment in the spotlight, especially the 70% Dark, which has been just, so overwhelmingly, universally accoladed. We’ve been so humbled by that. There was so much love in the room for our salted caramel. And then, we added a dash of festive cheer with the Chocolate Orange and Mint during Christmas. The Mint bars? Well, they disappeared over a single weekend, I s**t you not (we only made about 500!). And the Orange became an instant staple. We’ve lost track of how many we sold.
  • We also managed to launch our new micro factory, no mean feat in and of itself, but the new equipment meant we could actually keep up with orders and shows, which was nice to be able to actually do, for once.

As you’d expect, in our first year, we made so many…mistakes / ’opportunities for improvement’ (as my old boss would say). Things you couldn’t plan for, and things where we definitely should have known better. Like trying to sell chocolate in the heat of summer, which was 'bold' (if we're being kind), or stupid, if we're being honest. We abandoned 2 shows, losing time, money, and a chunk of ego in the process. But we also had machines break down, and new equipment arrive that didn't behave as expected. The biggest learning curve however, was Christmas, and not anticipating the whirlwind. We ended up having to single handedly produce over 10,000 handmade, handwrapped bars in just 10 weeks to keep up. I know to the big boys that’s nothing, but let me tell you, for a husband & wife team, it’s a lot. Shout-out to my mum as well, for being a super-fast wrapper. Lol.

But it's important to be mindful of why we started in the first place. And we embarked on this little adventure because I simply could not find a decent milk chocolate that was dairy-free/vegan to save my life. For years I trawled supermarket shelves and artisan companies. Nothing. So instead I just continued eating milk chocolate and dealt with the consequences, until I couldn't anymore. That was when we decided to make it ourselves. But leaving the comfort of our tech and marketing careers was a big leap, and selling our house to fund the chocolate dream was an even bigger one. But you guys made it all worthwhile. Sounds corny, but it's true. In our hearts, we knew our Undairy® chocolate was a game-changer, but seeing it sell out at nearly every show, that was what changed everything for us. Taking risks can be scary, but sometimes the risk of not taking them can be even greater, and we’re glad we took this one.

So, 2024, what does it hold? A lot more chocolate, obvs! We're already gearing up for Valentine's, Easter, and yes, even Christmas. You all bloody love Christmas so much that for us to have any hope of keeping up, we have to start now. (NO Xmas music allowed though.) You can all get uber excited for new treats – our long-time-coming Biscoff bar will be making an overdue appearance in Spring, as will some Dark delights; a Dark & Ginger, Dark & Pretzel and maybe, a Dark & Chilli in time for Xmas. We’re also looking at doing a Turkish Delight and a Rum & Raisin, so, lots going on in our development kitchen! Sadly, our beloved Salted Caramel will be taking a hiatus due to some supplier complications with the caramel pearls, but rest assured, it will be back. Aaaand wait for it – our hot chocolate is making its debut this year! Oh, and Winter '24 is going to be extra special, but you'll have to wait and see why.

Anyway, we can't wait to see you all at foodie events, shows and who knows, maybe even your favorite local store. P.S., If you have a spot in mind that needs it’s dairy-free chocolate replacing with something decent, give us a shout!

Happy 2024 Everyone.

The Original Chocoholic x

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