A Little Bit About
The Raw Chocolate Pie Company
We are a very small business based in West Cornwall. Our production base is in Trencrom, a hamlet a few miles from St Ives.
Trencrom is famous for its hill with amazing views of both the North and South coasts. It is the site of an iron age fort, though the preferred story (this is Cornwall!) is that the huge boulders are not fortifications at all but the result of two giants having a fight! We have the moors all round us – it is a beautiful place to work, we feel very privileged.
There are seven of us who are responsible for The Raw Chocolate Pie Company. Me, Debby, the founder, who is in charge of wholesale sales, Donna who is in charge of online sales and manages everything I don’t, my youngest daughter, Edita and Donna’s Mum, Val who run the production and Sophie who manages our shop, is responsible for social media and much else besides. Yes, you’ve spotted it – 2 mothers and 2 daughters working together but on the whole, we are pretty harmonious! We are also lucky enough to have two part timers – Lynn who runs the shop at weekends and Janine who in charge of all our non chocolate and fudge production, such as our super foods.
So, we are a small team, we work hard and long hours but we are passionate about what we do. So far as the raw ingredients which go to make up our pies are concerned, we are very lucky. We are supplied by Bath based importers who share the same ethics as we do – our ingredients are fair trade, organic, top quality and lab tested.
All our pies are handmade and until recently, hand wrapped as well.
Last year, I took the terrifying decision that we needed to move at least some of our production into machine wrapping – we were just not keeping up with demand. So, we have bought a wrapping machine for an eye-watering amount of money and now wrap all our 60g bars by machine.
The difference is extraordinary – our best hand wrappers can wrap 100 pies an hour – our machine, known as Pearl (!), can wrap 60 pies a minute. At the moment, our 30g bars continue to be wrapped by hand but we will move to machine wrapping when we can afford it.
So what gave me the idea for Raw Chocolate Pie and subsequently, Raw Fudge?
Apparently, when I was two, I met someone who was to become a life long friend under a table at a children’s tea party. We had managed to drag a jelly with us – you can imagine the mess! When she was only in her early thirties, my friend was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. One day, my friend (who has a sweet tooth – I am sure the jelly was her idea), offered me some diabetic chocolate. It was truly awful and so I set about trying to make a healthy chocolate which would be suitable for diabetics. I also aimed to make it gluten free, soya free and dairy free but tasty.
After many false starts, I ended up with Raw Chocolate Pie which as well as being suitable for diabetics, is also suitable for coeliacs and anyone with a lactose intolerance, which of course, also makes it vegan. I started by making the pies in small blocks, wrapping them in grease proof and tying it together with a ribbon – very time consuming! It was extraordinary, though – within hours of introducing it into our shop, we sold out and it was the same every day. I was getting up every morning at 5am to make up batches before going down to the shop and we quickly realised we had a tiger by the tail. The other fascinating thing is that very quickly it became obvious that customers who were buying the pie were not necessarily people with dietary intolerances – the product had gone mainstream. People were buying it because it is a healthy chocolate which tastes good. The fact that Raw Chocolate Pie is truly good for you was confirmed by HMRC who zero rated it for VAT, designating it a healthy snack rather than confectionery.
Being a Cornish business, I then realised that we should be offering a raw fudge to meet the needs in particular of diabetics and those people who are lactose intolerant. It was quite tricky to achieve but now we have a range of 6 flavours and 2 Combo bars, which are half raw chocolate and half fudge. What has worked hugely in our favour is the growth in the vegan movement. At the moment, we are the only commercial producers of vegan fudge, which is also raw and low in sugar.
So, this tells you a little bit about us. We try very hard to offer you a reliable, friendly, and above all, personal service. If you want to call us, a real person answers the phone with no buttons to press! Please contact us if there is anything we can do to help.