The Schokolat Story
On a cold night in December 2012 at one of our local pubs in Hampshire UK, after a few beers our conversation moved from the classical “man” discussions to the difficulty of buying men Christmas gifts. Between these beers, we spent the rest of the evening trying to think up new and innovative ideas. Towards the end of the evening and with an increasing bar bill we concluded that the two best buys to give men were tools or chocolate.
We thought about combining the two and the concept seemed a little crazy at first but then just like peanut butter & jelly, the combo of chocolate and tools sprang to life and we had something to which men could relate and women could buy.
Early in 2013, Schokolat Ltd was founded and we set off harboring ambitions to make our crazy idea a reality. We hired a small warehouse and the partners started to import chocolate style tools from Europe.
That year Schokolat attended a few local craft shows, county fairs and Christmas markets to test our idea and after sell outs in several shows and countless positive encouragement from customers, it became quickly evident that this was certainly an idea that had potential to grow.
So that’s exactly what happened. In 2014, a factory was setup, we found a great Chocolatier and the company started to create our own products. We learnt quickly and much time was spent experimenting with different product designs, relying heavily on the support and feedback from customers to develop a full and varied range alongside a completely new brand image.
The concept of creating novelty Christmas gifts had worked. We then further developed the idea by not just focusing on Christmas gifts but by offering something that would suit many occasions; Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Graduations, Father’s day, Mother’s day, Easter, you name it…we wanted to be a part of it!
By the end of 2014, we ended up with a company that had already exceeded all expectations. We increased staff, introduced an e-commerce website, made new product innovations and further improved the packaging.
Throughout 2015, things moved on and we increased distribution to a new level…we were no longer market traders anymore. The products were now finding their way into the retail sector as well as online website companies, some of which undertook their own national press and TV coverage of Schokolat products.
In 2016, Schokolat was recognized in the industry and awarded the Best of British Design Award from the UKTI. In partnership with the well-known online store Funky Pigeon, a new project was initiated for the creation of line chocolate cards. As our reputation and expertise were becoming better known, we began receiving calls from corporations asking for specially designed bespoke products. This was a new direction for Schokolat but one we relished and we now offer bespoke chocolate gifts to various companies throughout the world!
Knowing we had managed to open retail, corporate and web gifting sectors in such a short time was testimony to the hard work of all the Schokolat team who helped make our ambitions a reality.
The uniqueness combined with the detail of all the products had helped to grow our brand. Schokolat continued to innovate and wanted to create a product that stood out from the rest, one that truly represented what Schokolat was all about. We set about the ambitious task of making a “working” chocolate teapot. We knew from the beginning that the idea was bold and certainly their most challenging product to date but the idea of a chocolate teapot, however crazy, seemed encompass what Schokolat was all about; unique, fun and utterly British!
We didn’t want it to be just a chocolate teapot, but rather a teapot made of chocolate. One that actually worked, withstanding the heat of boiling water and one that could even be transformed into a fondue dip. So after several months of designing, testing, and corporate imaging we finally managed to successfully create the UK’s and the world’s first retail multi-functioning chocolate teapot!
We continued innovating and later that year launched the top selling Pocket Watch which was selected by Universal Studios, Florida for their US theme park.
New orders continued to come in from across Europe from Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and merely fueled our ambitions to be even more bold with our expansion plans.
In early 2017, Schokolat launched its brand in Los Angeles, USA and has now established a US website and distribution warehouse to service the US market.
Creativity is our watchword and we have many more exciting ideas in the pipeline. In just four years we have managed to take Schokolat from what started as a crazy idea into the unique, worldwide distributing company it is today. We are proud of the journey we have made so far but even more excited for the one that lies ahead and will always be immensely grateful to our customers for remaining loyal and supportive throughout.