PRODUCER of artisanal chocolate treats, start-up company Chocollor Chocolate Ltd, which is operated by Carl and Donna-Kaye Sharpe in Red Hills, St Andrew, which recently received one of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Accelerator Programme awards, is now pushing its expansion programme.
The company sells a product which the Sharpes say is different from the “sugary”, preservative-laden, imported brands commonly available. Chocollor is made with Jamaican fine chocolate and has seen sales growing even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Registered in 2020, the principals of the start-up are listed as Carl Sharpe, Donna-Kaye Sharpe and Llori Sharpe.
As graduates of the second cohort of the JBDC Accelerator Programme, Chocollor Chocolate's principals were selected as the B.O.S.S Man & B.O.S.S Lady Awardees for the year 2021. Carl Sharpe said, “The selection criteria included business growth in revenue, customer reach, legacy potential, product innovation, the use of local inputs, local market potential, and export.”
It all began, the Sharpes said, with the love for chocolate and the desire to create a value-added product from Jamaican raw materials. In 2012, after an illness, Sharpe became determined to realise his desire to share with all the delicious chocolate treats created from his own recipes. Chocollor was named after his daughter Llori, a high-performing athlete who is now Jamaica's top female road cyclist.
The couple used cacao beans from farmers in Clarendon and St Mary to produce milk, white, and 60 per cent and 70 per cent dark chocolate bars. “We also purchase beans from the Ministry of Agriculture's Export Division,” Sharpe said.
The couple targeted lovers of Jamaican, fine-flavoured chocolate with a range of products. Carl Sharpe outlines, “This demographic includes individuals who desire a change from the mass-produced sugary and preservative-loaded chocolate. Moreover, our market includes those who love supporting the Jamaican brand and the nation's local artisans.
Chocollor began as a hobby, making chocolate at home and giving the finished products to friends and family. However, from the positive feedback the hobby grew into something much greater.
Source: Jamaica Observer
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