A love of beautiful chocolate
So what do you do? Work hard to find the solution and then set up your own company to help others of course.
“Within two years of being in Devon, we had to build another factory!”
A vegan chocolate maker in the heart of Devon? What’s not to love!
Since relocating from Reading to Devon, Moo Free Chocolates has never looked back.
Founders and owners, Andrea and Mike Jessop are intent on growing a global business with the love of beautiful chocolate at its heart.
Be it a Vegan White Chocolate Mini Bar, Bunnycomb Easter Egg or Dairy Free Fruit and Nut Bar, this award-winning brand is continuing on a journey of taste, delighting customers (including the Queen of the United Kingdom!) around the globe.
“It was expensive to run a business in Reading. Here in Devon, it’s brilliant. People have said we must have a good sense of humour, moving a non-dairy business to Devon, but we have absolutely no regrets,” Andrea, Moo Free’s CEO told us.
With support from the Devon Delivers Relocation Team and a grant for new machinery, Moo Free Chocolates quickly settled into their new surroundings. But not for long.
Within two years of moving into their purpose-built factory in mid-Devon in 2016, they had built and opened another factory on the other side of the road.
2020, of course, brought darker times. The effects of the global pandemic on many businesses were devastating and Moo Free certainly faced a challenge. Moo Free’s vegan chocolate serves almost all the UK’s major supermarkets and can be found in many independent stores. However, with fewer visitors to physical stores, there was a real danger of sales dropping dramatically.
Moo Free prides itself on flexibility. With the inexorable rise of online ordering across almost all industries, the company turned its attention to its online shop. The plan paid off and Moo Free saw a 300% increase in online sales within a year.
“Veganism has come to the forefront over the last year and we’re already in a solid place to meet those needs. Since we came to Devon, we’ve been able to employ the right people with specialist skills and knowledge. We have a brilliant team in place that has been able to deal with the challenges of the last year”.
Andrea adds that Devon is a fantastic place to live and work and her husband, Mike,
“Just the journey to work used to stress us out. In Reading, it was the same distance as we commute now, but it could take up to 40 minutes. Now, it takes four minutes. That’s an hour a day saved just like that.”
“We’re more relaxed here, and that means we deal with problems a lot better, and that’s better for the business. It’s a whole different ball game. We love it.”