The Raw Chocolate Co taken over by 'friendly' rival after falling into financial difficulty

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

The Raw Chocolate Company has been taken over by 'friendly' rival Conscious Chocolate. Pic: The Raw Chocolate Company
The Raw Chocolate Company has been taken over by 'friendly' rival Conscious Chocolate. Pic: The Raw Chocolate Company

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Artisan chocolatier calls in administrator who secured a deal with VC company behind Conscious Chocolate to save at least 12 jobs.

The Raw Chocolate Co has agreed to a merger with rival Conscious Chocolate, after the former ceased trading earlier this month after recording deepening losses.

Raw Chocolate’s founder, Linus Gorpe, set up the company in 2006 and has a dozen employees working in its factory in Small Dole, near Brighton in England.

In 2015, the company appeared on Dragon’s Den (the UK equivalent of Shark Tank) and won initial investment before the deal fell through.

Emma Jackman, MD of Conscious Chocolate, told ConfectioneryNews, the deal came about through her personal friendship with Gorpe. “We looked at different ways of working together – and we love the brand, the company and product​. We were very happy to step in and help Linus.​”

Administrators David Rubin & Partners and Buchler Phillips Ltd were appointed joint administrators on August 9, 2018.

'Jobs at stake'

“All together, there are around 10 jobs there and other suppliers whose jobs would have depended on Raw Chocolate. All-in-all there were probably around a dozen jobs at stake,”​ David Rubin told The Grocer.

“It was marketed quite heavily and there were four interested parties including the venture capital group, who made the highest bid, saved the jobs and merged Conscious Chocolate with Raw Chocolate. They are both now using the factory that Raw Chocolate used to occupy.

“Everything worked out beautifully in the end. The question is now whether they will make any money, and I think they might because they have a pretty good business there. With both businesses merged into one, it’s almost a no brainer.”

Jackman said The Raw Chocolate Company will continue to trade under its own brand name, and the newly merged company will be relaunching towards the end of the year.

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