Laser-Focused on Profitability (feat. Pashmina Lalchandani, Co-Founder of Bar & Cocoa)
Fair Trade, Fair Labor, and Sustainable Chocolate is Possible
- Shipping chocolate is challenging enough, but sourcing and housing craft chocolate from global suppliers, and creating a marketplace for consumers who have very specific expectations around buying and consuming chocolate is harder still.
- The challenges of creating a great customer experience with shipping delays in the midst of COVID created issues in the logistics industry, and those had massive impacts on the quality of the product at the time of delivery. Some chocolate only arrived a month post-purchase, at which point it wasn’t consumable. This represents a problem in a luxury chocolate perishable category, when you’re at mercy of carriers and covid-related delays.
- “I don't think the mission makes us grow slower, but I think my focus and laser focus on becoming a profitable company, you know, kind of meters our growth. And because we're not funded, because it's like something that has been bootstrapped, we don't have the luxury of throwing thousands of dollars into ads or marketing and having that long cycle of seeing a return on our investment with customer acquisition.” —Pashmina
- The connection formed to chocolate as a kid reflects the outcome adults make in wanting to take the leap towards craft chocolate.
- “You have recipes and a whole ecosystem built around chocolate and the brands with those...so you're not just unseating a single experience, you're unseating experiences across multiple food ecosystems, which is another challenge and also an opportunity.” -Brian
- Bar and Cocoa are MBE-certified as a minority-owned business, and supports minority and BIPOC growers and founders. Their focus on doubling their Made at Origin chocolates have allowed them to support more people who are growing cacao at the source. As Pashmina says, “rather than just for these countries importing beans, the chocolate is staying there and being sourced locally, made locally by local manufacturers, whether they own the farms, whether they're working directly with the farms there.”