He is lactose free. She is gluten free. Their son can’t eat dairy products. They all love chocolate.
So what do you do? Work hard to find the solution and then set up your own company to help others of course.
“We’ve only been here two years and we’ve already had to build another factory.”
A dairy-free 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 Mini Moo Minty 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 England!) 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.”
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.
Having moved into their purpose-built factory in mid Devon in 2016, two years later they’ve built and opened another factory on the other side of the road. Growth is rapid in the UK, across Europe, USA and Australia, with exports now accounting for 40 per cent of turnover.
Andrea explains: “We are growing so quickly and here we are able to employ people who bring the right skills and knowledge, like a production manager, engineering manager, tech manager. It’s a very affordable place to run a business and the staff are exceptional. And now of course I get my own product development room to play in!”
Serving all but one of the UK supermarkets brands (“We’re in every supermarket that we want to be in!” reveals Andrea), Moo Free are busy expanding the sales team and the product range, with more seasonal goodies available than ever before.
“Before coming to Devon we always had the problem that we couldn’t produce enough. We had problems with staff all the time, but not anymore. And it’s fun - it’s a fantastic place to live and work.”
Husband Mike agrees. “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.”
He adds: “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.”