We’re finally (almost) back to normal!

We’re finally (almost) back to normal! | Russell and Atwell

We’re finally (almost) back to normal!

It feels amazing to be finally at the end of what has really been months of work, that hinged on our 14 minutes fame on Thursday 10th March.

In case you missed it, we had an avalanche of orders and reluctantly had to ‘close’ our online store on the Monday 14th March and have focused through March, April and May on making, packing and sending all the orders secured over those 4 days.

We’re grateful for your orders, your patience and support and very sorry about the delays. 

What’s changed since the Dragons invested?

The answer is everything and nothing. We’re still a small business making hand-finished chocolates in small batches, it’s just that now about 10 million people have now heard of us and we clearly need to scale up as thousands have now tried our chocolates and thousands more are waiting to order!

While £90,000 is a lot of money, it’s amazing how quickly it goes when you are growing a business. The money has been most helpful on the very boring but totally critical ‘cashflow’ that enables us to do things like buying packaging before we’ve sold the chocolates. (The picture below is with fake cash, in case you think we get given wads of notes!)

 

We’ve bought some kit and got some help…

As well as our ‘cool room’ where we can now store several tons of chocolate, we’ve been able to buy a semi-automatic filling machine ‘Phil’ which has helped us fill a lot of pouches (see below!)

We’ve staffed up on packers with stalwarts Sharon and Maisie joined by Kiz, Luke, Jack and most recently Adam helping us to pack thousands of pouches, jars and boxes. They have worked tirelessly over recent weeks - thank you team.

We’ve got some help with the hundreds of consumer queries ranging from ‘do we make vegan chocolates’ (sorry, not yet), to ‘I’m moving house, can I please change my address’ and everything in between! Thanks to Annabel, Clare, Clive, Jess, Nikki and Val for your help here. 

 

Even Nick, our new Chairman lent a hand packing.

Peter and Stephen’s teams have also been helping us recruit a social media marketing person who will help us tell our story online and beyond – we’ll be excited to welcome Sofya later in the summer.

Thanks for cheering us up!

We’ve been working evenings and weekends for a while now, and while we totally understand the frustrations at our delay in delivering fresh chocolates into your homes, we’ve equally been cheered by some lovely feedback – some highlights below:

  • "The best chocolates I have ever tasted!” Katie
  • “Shhhh.... still tasting!! 😉 Pete
  • “Out of this world, well worth the wait” Inge
  • “May the tsunami of orders continue to navigate the River Rea and arrive at Stirchley ... for the next 70 years!” - Hal
  • “The customer service that you have provided is exceptional.” Nilesh
  • “Sooo good!”Pauline
  • “Absolutely smashed it with this chocolate” Sufyaan
  • “FAB U LOUS they are amazing, delicious, light, full of flavour and what a gift they would make” Big
  • “Seriously good” Penny
  • “Amazing, tasty, creamy just beautiful” Karen
  • “The taste is something else! Never tasted chocolate like this - ever!” Tony

Most importantly we’re excited about re-opening our store.

We’re so excited to return to back to a ‘new normal’. At the start, as we make each fresh batch of chocolates, it will be available to buy from the site - just like with fresh bread in a bakery, when it's gone, it's gone! 

If you sign up to our chocolate mailing list, we will let you know once the batches are ready.

Additionally, we will be working over the coming weeks with a view to scaling-up properly later in the year so we can have fresh chocolates available to order every day.

We’re keeping things simple

We’re keeping the range simple – focused on three Triple-Pack bestsellers – the same as the Dragons tasted - so that we can maximise supply and minimise complexity – this means we can get your chocolates out quickly (target within 5-7 working days).

 

What’s next…

Once our supply situation stabilises, we’ll open the wider store with more options on glass jars and refills as well as subscriptions and by popular demand, we’re planning to make a limited-edition batch of our Seville Orange for the festive season.

In the meantime, stay safe and well!

Giles & Steve

 P.S. We're about to enter what will hopefully be warmer weeks over the summer, if the sun is shining and it's a very warm week, we will pause sending until the weather cools, like most other chocolate businesses.

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