Multi-million backing set to enable Love Cocoa’s first retail store

A key investment of £4.25 million for UK confectionery group Love Cocoa is set to enable the development of its first retail store and expand its management team to grow the business to the next level, reports Neill Barston.

The funding boost from Richard Koch, author and entrepreneur behind venture successes including Grind, Plymouth Gin and Betfair, will also go towards enhancing its retail distribution, with the company already having secured a number of notable listings.

James Cadbury, (pictured) founder of the business, who is also the great-great-great-grandson John Cadbury,  an original member of the key British confectionery firm. The business is made up of luxury chocolate brand, Love Cocoa, and plant-based oat milk chocolate, H!P Chocolate, which enjoy a combined retail value of over £10million and have achieved growth of +300% over the last two years. With ethical values at the heart of the business, both brands are known for championing sustainably sourced, slave-free cocoa and plastic-free packaging alongside commitments to combating deforestation and climate change.

Confectionery Production has previously interviewed the young entrepreneur, who notably started his company in the wake of turning down investment funding from the Dragons’ Den BBC show, noting that retail expansion has long been an ambition of the company, which is hoping to create a total of 10 stores over the next three years within the UK.

Speaking on the investment, he said: “I’m delighted to have Richard and his team’s backing. I’m excited to be working with him on driving the strategic development of both Love Cocoa and H!P Chocolate, helping propel them from challenger brands to chocolate industry powerhouses.”

“Love Cocoa and H!P Chocolate are at the forefront of sustainable chocolate innovation,” commented Koch. “I’m looking forward to supporting the business on the next stage of its incredible journey.”

Significantly, the investment will enable further increasing the distribution for H!P Chocolate, which successfully launched in Sainsbury’s last year, and enhancing Love Cocoa’s management with a finance director and head of marketing.

Cadbury added: “We’re excited to be going into physical retail later this year, launching our first Love Cocoa store. Retail is moving to an omnichannel approach, and we see the opportunity to innovate with our new stores offering unique, experiential moments. Alongside that, consumers are wanting to come back to the high street and that gives us the opportunity to deliver sensory chocolate experiences that simply can’t be achieved shopping online. We see this as a real game changer for the business and can’t wait to open our first store.” He continued: “This is an immensely exciting time for the business, and I believe 2023 will be a landmark year for us.”

Love Cocoa Chairman and serial FMCG entrepreneur, Giles Brook said: “For James and the rest of the team, it’s fantastic to secure such strong backing, particularly at this current time where the business has momentum through both Love Cocoa and H!P brands. Love Cocoa continues to rise and rise, becoming one of the leading luxury chocolate brands, whilst H!P is making a name for itself as the standout vegan-based chocolate brand winning on taste and importantly (non) milky texture, where it is replicating its dairy counterparts incredibly.”

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