One of Scotland’s leading chocolatiers has launched a £30,000 crowd funding campaign to develop a new chocolate factory.
Based in East Lothian with an outlet in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield, Chocolate Tree has experienced significant growth recently, necessitating a move to larger premises.
The crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo.com will particularly appeal to chocolate fans with contributors being rewarded with exclusive rewards: from a golden ticket tour of the new factory to an all-you-can-eat reservation at the café; or a chocolate masterclass!
The business has outgrown its existing premises and, with the support of the crowd-funding campaign, has plans to develop an idyllic East Lothian building into the new chocolate factory. The former Knowes Farm Shop just outside East Linton is a traditional rural building with an existing open plan interior.
The move will allow Chocolate Tree to continue making the chocolate for which it has become famous, as well as offering weekend workshops and tours.
Co-Founder, Alastair Gower said: “Since we started Chocolate Tree, it’s been crucial to us that we develop the business along our own ethical ideals – uniquely in Scotland creating bean to bar chocolate and working closely with cacao producers to ensure that production is both ethical and sustainable. This ethos and above all, the quality of our chocolate, is something that is valued by our customers. Our move to expand is recognition that demand for our products is growing. This is a long-term investment into the future of Chocolate Tree that will also enable a much-loved East Lothian building to continue being used as an artisan food business.
“By contributing to our campaign you are investing in more than just better chocolate. As well as directly contributing to the local community by offering a unique workplace for eighteen staff members, the cacao we buy has a hugely positive social and environmental impact. We pay farmers a premium price, which means they continue to grow cacao, which has a big positive impact on biodiversity in some of the areas of the world most affected by climate change.”
The funding will contribute to investment in the building’s interior and new equipment with the cost of the project estimated to be closer to £80,000 than £30,000. Additional sources of funding will cover the difference. The crowd funding campaign ends on Easter Sunday, 16th April 2017.
Ali and Friederike Gower launched Chocolate Tree in 2005, with the aim of creating luxury chocolate that was not only beautiful and delicious but also truly ethical and organic. Since that time they’ve won gold awards consistently at the prestigious International Chocolate Awards, and last year won the award for best dessert outlet in Scotland for their café and shop in Edinburgh. In 2016 they used over 20 tons of chocolate producing around 195,000 chocolate bars which they sold mostly via specially selected retail partners in the UK and overseas.