Chantal Coady OBE, Rococo Chocolates, Brand of Tomorrow 2010
Rococo Chocolates was founded in March 1983 by Chantal Coady. Chantal graduated in Textile Design (Camberwell School of Art & Crafts) in 1981, and went on to complete an MSC Small Business Course. Armed with a little knowledge, a dangerous passion for chocolate and a belief that there was room for a radically different approach to chocolate, she decided to open a shop in the King’s Road (Chelsea, London).
26 years later and the author of three books about chocolate, she still pushes forward to boundaries of chocolate retailing with 3 shops in London – the original Kings Road store, Marylebone High Street, and a new flagship store with its own cafe, kitchen and chocolate school on Motcomb St in the heart of Belgravia.
“I was very young, with little experience in the world of business. I did have a very clear idea of what I wanted to create, which was a completely different emotional experience when it came to retailing luxury chocolate. I had to create a new market from scratch, by shaking up the traditional British approach, based in industrial confectionery production. The 80s were a baptism of fire; boom, bust, and eye watering interest rates, I was running just to stand still. I did change the way people thought about chocolate and started working with cocoa farmers in Grenada, that was transformational for me and Rococo”.
In order to be a successful luxury entrepreneur what are three pieces of advice you would give?
Love what you do: walk, talk, live and breathe it!
What are the most important lessons you have learned along your journey?
Learn from all mistakes and be able to bounce back.
What are the watch outs along the way?
Try not to get distracted by “shiny things” – stay focused.
When you were started out who was your biggest inspiration?
Mott Green activist and founder of the first Tree to Bar artisan maker in a cocoa growing country: The Grenada Chocolate Co. I did not meet him at the start of my journey, but he has made the most profound influence in my chocolate life.