Laura Cotton From Cocoa Delicious
Laura from Cocoa Delicious is one of the loveliest people I have ever met and her chocolate spoons are to die for (just ask my partner, Oz, he would have them all day every day if he could!!). Laura is so passionate and so sincere that it makes her business blossom. It's been amazing seeing her grow, change and expand her empire!
How did you get started?
After graduating as a Veterinary surgeon from the Royal Vet College in 2011, I started a cupcake business alongside the first of my veterinary jobs. In 2012, I added the hot chocolate spoons alongside the cupcakes and after much deliberation, I rebranded for the hot chocolate spoons and discontinued the cakes. Starting from my home kitchen and my trusty candy thermometer, I began
selling chocolate spoons to friends and family locally. The business quickly grew, meaning I had to invest in a chocolate tempering machine; I quickly outgrew the home kitchen and in 2017, we built a production unit out the back of the house – a space dedicated to chocolate production and kitted out as a commercial kitchen!
Fast forward to 2019, I sell tens of thousands of hot choc spoons every year and have recently launched the new product line, BYTEZbox.
What is your favourite thing about running a business?
The independence and freedom to build my own dream…to build something to be proud of. I get to be creative every day and build my own empire.
It also gives me the freedom to spend time with family and friends when I need to, without having to book time off! The hours can be long and running a business is hard work, but you’re always in control.
Who is your inspiration?
I don’t have only one inspo. Any food/drink producer who is smashing their goals and building their own empire, inspires me every single day. Anyone who dares to blaze their own trail and be different, unique and innovative and gets out there to share their story with the world is a huge inspiration to me.
What is, in your opinion, the most important thing to remember when running a business?
Nothing happens overnight; success is showing up every day, staying consistent with your message and BELIEVING in what you do. There are no short cuts or magic wands! Never compare yourself to others; “Comparison is the thief of joy..” and I have to remind myself of this every day. Everyone is on their own journey, make yours your own and stay unique. You may also encounter “copycats” along the way – try not to lose too much sleep over them. 99% of copycats I’ve had haven’t got past 6 months in business. And where you can, protect yourself
with trademark registration and copyright protection.
What do you consider your biggest business achievement?
I’ve won a few awards over the past 7 years and one of my proudest is being chosen by Theo Paphitis for a Small Business award in 2017. In 2018, I got to meet Theo, who presented me with my award.
Tell us a fact about your business: (this can be how much sellotape you go through, or a funny fact people wouldn’t know - anything!)
When the business was first started, I used to buy bars of Belgian chocolate from Sainsburys to melt and mould into spoons – I used to do this in a plastic bowl in my microwave! I can’t even imagine doing that now – nowadays I buy the chocolate in 10kg bags..and lots of them!
What is your favourite product / service you offer?
This has to be my hot chocolate spoon; this was the product which the business was created around 7 years ago and it still the product I’m totally passionate about. I’ve worked so hard to build a brand and product line that is unique within the market. You can shop her spoons here.
What is your number 1 advice for someone thinking of starting a business?
Know your market; if you’ve got an idea/concept, make sure you research the market thoroughly and work out your niche and USP. If you can’t provide your customer with something different and unique, it’ll make selling much more difficult. Know your chosen industry inside out and back to front.