The success of the Cape Town-based Honest Chocolate over the past three years, following a crowdfunding venture, has encouraged the company to expand to Johannesburg, also through crowdfunding.
Honest Chocolate started with a bit of experimentation with raw cacao. Anthony Gird made a few simple chocolates from raw cacao powder as a healthy treat for himself and friends and when they were polished off in seconds, with demands for more, he knew he was onto something. Over the next few months, he taught himself more about the art and science of chocolate making, an endeavour that eventually developed into Honest Chocolate.
Meanwhile, Michael de Klerk was also experimenting with raw chocolate in London, with similar results; so on his return to Cape Town, when the opportunity came to join Gird on his chocolate adventure, the decision was not all that difficult.
Crowdfunding the café
After four years of crafting organic artisan chocolate in Cape Town, the Honest Chocolate team embarked on a new journey with the aims of expanding their business by opening a café dedicated to their craft. To make this dream a reality, they needed funding and turned to crowdfunding.
In July 2014, Honest Chocolate launched its crowdfunding campaign with Thundafund.com. The campaign was a success, closing in August 2014 raising a total of R66,675 to fund the new business venture with the help of 147 backers. The money raised through crowdfunding efforts allowed the team to buy all the necessary equipment needed to set up the café.
Honest Chocolate, located on Wale Street, offers dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free and Paleo options, as well as coffee made by a barista using locally roasted beans. The café has grown in terms of its retail offerings and now has products ranging from chocolate slabs to spreads and hot chocolate powders. In addition to its range of chocolate-based offerings, the team has used its success to expand, turning the courtyard into a gin bar after hours. The Gin Bar launched in 2015 and is a hot spot on Cape Town's famous First Thursdays.
The company's next crowdfunding campaign will soon be up on Thundafund.com to help launch its first Joburg chocolate café.
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