89. Cocoba

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Founder: Darren Litton
Founded: November 2013
Website: www.cocobachocolate.com

Hoping to bring a taste of the café culture, and the delicious, real hot chocolate his Grandfather had made in his native Australia, to UK shores, founder Darren Litton combined his love of coffee, chocolate and business to open his Cocoba chocolate café in late 2013.

Proving that chocolate can be far more versatile than you ever imagined, Cocoba has more than 50 products including high quality Belgian chocolate bars, nuts and truffles and even chocolate pizza. If you’re not a chocaholic the café also sells a range paninis, pastries and soups made fresh in store every morning, as well as its own coffee. Alongside it’s bricks and mortar base, many of its chocolate products and even branded mugs can be bought on the café’s online shop alongside listings in Harrods and Selfridges.

Currently based at one location in Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, Cocoba is working on consolidating its reputation, with sales in the café growing thanks to word of mouth, social media and repeat custom. Litton says that once things at the café are running smoothly he’ll be able to switch focus to “driving wholesales” and “finding locations for future stores.” With a clear passion for the product, and a business dream rooted in the nostalgia of his Grandfather’s delicious hot chocolate, the Startups Awards finalist looks set for sweet success.

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