But it wasn’t all money well spent. “I thought that websites were super-complex things that required bespoke builds, so I spent thousands,” he says. “With hindsight, I should have used one of the online tools that costs a few hundred pounds.”
At a pop-up, Cadbury met an angel investor who put £50,000 into the company, enabling it to ramp up production enough that it could sell into retailers. Its first listing was with Fortnum & Mason, roughly 100 years after the department store first stocked Cadbury chocolate. John Lewis, Planet Organic, Harrods and more than 300 independents currently stock Love Cocoa bars and truffles, which retail for about £4 and £13 respectively.
In 2017, it raised £199,000 from 300 investors via the equity crowdfunding website, Seedrs. “That was a big turning point, as we could increase our product capabilities and hire a team,” says the founder, who has four employees. Since the campaign, the company has increased monthly revenues from £10,000 to £80,000. Cadbury expects to break even or make a small profit this year.
Cash flow remains his biggest challenges. “It’s all about inventory and making sure that we have enough money to buy it throughout the year.” Forecasting is especially tough for small firms where buying too much or too little can be fatal, he adds. “Data is of course key, but you also need really good relationships with manufacturers in case you need to change things.”