Hello to all my dear chocolate lovers,
This the message I have been dreading to share, so I'll start with the 'not so good news'.
I started my business in September 2019 (happy 4th birthday to me!) and throughout that time, I have not increased my prices, despite seeing a 38% increase in my packaging costs alone (which, by the way, I purchase from UK suppliers).
My organisation has reached a point where I will be charging VAT, and with this I can no longer swallow the increased costs that have crept in over the past few years.
As an engineer I really enjoy streamlining systems and working to improve productivity to help reduce my production costs (my staff giggle at my spreadsheet obsession!) but as a handmade, small-batch chocolatier, there is only so much I can do.
With regards to my chocolate costs, I pay significantly more per 100g than any chocolate bar you can buy in the supermarkets (yes, even those on the top shelf!)
But now for the good news! I'm incredibly proud and grateful to all of you to be at a point where I am now supporting 3 cocoa farming families through the purchase of my chocolate. My milk chocolate is from Farmer Bertil Akesson. His estate is in the Sambriano Valley in Madagascar, you can try this superb chocolate in its pure form in our Autumn Collection ~ 58% Madagascar. My white chocolate is from Samuel von Rutte's farm on the Guantupi River in Ecuador, I’m also in the process of purchasing some of his unique milk chocolate too for our Christmas selection box. My dark chocolate is soon to be supplied from Lucy in Makira, an eastern island in the Solomon Islands. Lucy exclusively employs women to run her cocoa farm. An in-fact, due to the money she raises selling her superb chocolate, she has been able to send 2 of her daughters off to university in Australia!
So, to sustainably continue doing what we do at Hollychocs, making chocolate you love, I am increasing the prices of most of my chocolates from today.
Another bit of good news if you are local - my loose chocolates from my Beanery café will continue to be charged at £1.50 per piece and you can pick them up packed into loose thin-card boxes (not available for shipping).
I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for your support over the past few rollercoaster-years and hope that you can understand the decision I've had to make.
With much love and chocolatey wishes,