Owner/CEO's Name & Business's Name
Franz Duge, Michael Bruck, Carmen Magar at chocri
Why is your business unique and what's your pitch?
With chocri, consumers can design their own chocolate bars online. With three base chocolates and over 100 toppings to choose from, more than 10 billion combinations can be created.
The chocolate we use is fair trade, organic chocolate from Belgium, and 1% of each purchase is donated to a charity that supports kids on the Ivory Coast, the biggest exporter of cocoa.
chocri was founded in 2008 in Germany, and has since grown tremendously, and sold out two Christmases in a row. That's why chocri decided to expand to the US in 2010, and the US website www.createmychocolate.com was launched in January.
What led you to start the business?
chocri was the first company to have ever customized chocolate bars with the combination of base chocolates and toppings.
The founders Michael and Franz were already in the chocolate business in Germany, when Franz urgently needed a birthday present for his girlfriend. Faced with lack of alternatives and time, he melted some of the chocolate he had and decorated it with his girlfriends favorite toppings - the first chocri was born.
Word got around of this gift, and soon Franz's first buddy asked if he could have such a bar for his mom. Franz and Micha, gifted with lots of entrepreneurial spirit, saw a business opportunity. Personalized chocolate bars might sound like a wonderful, obviously great idea to us now, but keep in mind that back then, in 2008, nothing like this existed! Without any market research on a big scale, Micha and Franz bet on their idea to catch on - and boy, did they hit the nerve of time.
- Product quality is a priority: By using only the finest ingredients, chocri makes a chocolate that exceeds everyone expectations
- Open Innovation: chocri listens closely to its consumers and lets them determine many of its aspects, from the name "chocri" to the design of the packaging
- Capacity Planning: With an idea so great, capacity has to grow constantly to keep up with the growing demand. Selling out was definitely one of the biggest failures - it's frustrating not to be able to fulfill existing demand
- Mass customization is beautiful: On-demand production and customized products are the future