A luxury chocolate brand that started in its owner’s home kitchen has successfully expanded into new premises after receiving advice and support from Business Gateway.
Based in Forfar, Angus, Chocolatia handcrafts and sells a range of artisan chocolates made from the finest, sustainable ingredients. The business makes a conscious effort to celebrate the very best of Scotland’s larder, and often showcases home-grown flavours in its chocolates, including fresh Perthshire berries and elderflower, which grows in abundance in Angus.
Determined to keep things local, Chocolatia also regularly collaborates with Scottish Heather Honey and Sacred Grounds Coffee, an artisan coffee roastery in Arbroath.
Chloe Oswald, Chocolatia’s owner and a former Gleneagles chocolatier, first fell in love with the process of chocolate-making in her early years, during which time she regularly made sweet treats in her grandmother’s kitchen. Chloe went onto to study Professional Patisserie at the City of Glasgow College, before refining her pastry skills under the expert eye of chefs in two Michelin-starred restaurants.
Finding herself furloughed and seeking a creative outlet during the Covid-19 pandemic, Chloe launched Chocolatia in October 2020 and approached Business Gateway for help to launch her brand into the market.
Chloe benefitted from a range of Business Gateway support, including one-to-one guidance from a dedicated business adviser, who supported Chloe with Chocolatia’s production process. This support included advice on identifying the correct price point of each product. Motivated by her adviser’s support, Chloe successfully secured £3000 from the Elevator Grant Scheme, which went towards developing luxury and sustainable packaging for her products.
Experiencing popular demand for her products, shipping to customers nationwide and securing customers such as The Macallan Distillery and The Royal Scotsman train in Scotland. Chloe found she had outgrown her home kitchen and needed to acquire a new space to help her manufacture larger quantities of her luxury chocolates. Chloe has recently acquired her first premises in Forfar, with Business Gateway on hand to provide HR support, which will be essential for Chloe when employing staff for the first time.
Since launching, Chloe’s brand has won a string of prestigious accolades, including a bronze award for her coconut and lime bonbon and a silver for her toasted coconut bonbon at The Academy of Chocolate Awards, as well as being nominated for The Golden Fork Awards.
Chloe now hosts regular master chocolate classes to engage with her growing client base, through which she teaches the importance of using ethical and sustainable ingredients to help create special chocolate. Further down the line, Chloe has plans to have her very own cookery school, where she can teach and train chefs to use sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.
“When I decided to launch my own business, I had no experience of the fundamentals, like hiring staff and finding a premises, which have both been huge learning curves,” Chloe Oswald, Founder of Chocolatia, said. “I’m thoroughly enjoying working with my adviser, who has been a fantastic business mentor and endeavours to help and support in any way she can. It’s a weight off my shoulders knowing there’s someone else I can go to for advice.”
“Chloe has worked incredibly hard to launch her own business, focusing on her main goal which is to create luxury chocolate all whilst using sustainable ingredients,” Elaine Donnachie, Business Gateway adviser, commented. “It is excellent to see her get the recognition she deserves through her award-winning success. Her chocolates are a true delight, just like Chloe has been to work with.”