News & Offers

Nominate Your Lockdown Hero

Dear Customers,

Like all of us, I know being a carer is a very special profession. However, it was not until my husband, Alan, became terminally ill two years ago, I realised just how special.  Mandy or Kathryn came in twice a day to help with his care. They were kind, efficient, practical, knowledgeable and the greatest fun. Most importantly, Alan loved them but so did I, my grownup children, the dogs and even the parrot who very quickly learnt to mimic them, causing much hilarity!  We still keep in touch.

The lockdown has been difficult for everyone to a greater or lesser degree but over and over again, we hear how it has brought families, neighbours and communities together, which gave me the following idea.

Do you have a Lockdown Hero, someone who went the extra mile in this very difficult time?  It does not need to be a key worker – it could be family, friends, a work colleague, the random kindness of a virtual stranger.   If so, and you place an order with us during the next seven days, we will send a Pocket Pie to your nominated Lockdown Hero as a thank you present, completely FREE OF CHARGE.

How it works is just fill out the order form as normal and in the box named “Instructions” on the form, add the name and address of your nominee. I will then send them a Pocket Pie with the enclosed note below.  



Unless you state otherwise, I will send the Madly Mandarin Pocket Pie as this is the most popular, but if you would prefer an alternative, I will try to meet your request.

Sending out samples with your orders of flavours you may not have tried is proving very popular.  We will keep this going and the 10% discount for as long as we can.

I’m going to send Mandy and Kathryn a Pocket Pie too.

Take care,
Debby

10% discount on everything continues

Dear Customers,

My first boss was a man named Tom Parker. He was a Sales Director of Associated British Foods and had a dingy office in the Corn Exchange in the City of London, just a hop, skip and a jump from The Tower of London. Tom was a passionate believer in helping young people establish a career.  I was only 19 when I joined him but right from the beginning he said, “take as much responsibility as you like.  Make a mistake once and I will back you to the hilt, make the same mistake twice and it’s off to the Tower with you.”  Of course, I made the same mistake twice on several occasions, his bark was awful to behold but he never bit!

I am worrying so much about the young today, unable to plan for the future, with the job market shrinking before our eyes. A good mentor is such a help, not only did Tom teach me about sales and marketing, he gave me confidence. After leaving him, shortly after my first daughter was born, I set up a childrens’ clothes business called Tartan Cottage, which ultimately I sold to Damart. Halzephorn Herb Farm followed and now, of course, The Raw Chocolate Pie Company. He taught me to see every problem as an opportunity and I suppose this is what we all need to do now, to think outside the box, to be flexible.

When this pandemic is over, or at least under control, I am not going to open another shop or even attend shows and festivals.  I am going to try and give you the shop experience online.  To start with, from now on with every order you place, you will receive samples of flavours you haven’t ordered.  Being able to sample has always been a big feature of the business and that shouldn’t stop now.


samples ready to come out to you

I am going to try and develop the blog to include recipes, nutritional advice and ideas as to how to use our raw chocolate, fudge and superfoods and I would so appreciate any ideas you have for developing the site.

Tom has been dead for many years now, but I hope he realised how much I valued his advice and the fact is, I am still following it to this day. 

Take care,
Debby

Samples By Post

Dear Customers,

Aside from our family and friends, what has kept Deets and I going over the last three months has been the wonderful orders and kind comments from so many of you….and after that, of course, it has been our dogs! The loyalty, the unconditional love, the fact that they have to be exercised, come rain or shine, and the cuddles at a time when there is no one else you are allowed to hug…what would we do without them? 


So here we are, Deets and her dalmatian/collie cross, Zac (aged 10), me with jack russell Spud (aged 5) and whippet/bedlington terrier/deerhound cross Lupin (aged 6).

Deets acquired Zac from a farm on Bodmin Moor when her brothers went off to University and she was still living a home.  He has been a constant companion to her ever since.  A bit of a bull in a china shop is Zac but there is not a mean bone in his body.  Lupin joined the family at a time when I had no other dogs.  I was working hard and travelling quite a bit and I decided she was needy…. hence the arrival of Spud. How wrong was I.  Lupin settled down to become a very laidback character, while Spud, of course, being a jack russell, has attitude and never lets me out of his sight.

So back to Raw Chocolate Pie.  Our offer of The Full House for just £17 (a saving of £10) continues up to and including 1st July.  It is a great offer and makes a lovely gift.  I have been thinking about how to give you more of the experience you would have had in our shop.  As a trial, I am going to add to your orders some bite sized samples of pie flavours which I think you may not have tried before.  With food in particular, tastes vary so much, so I thought trying before buying might be a good idea.  I would really appreciate your feedback on this.

Take care,

Debby

Full House Special Offer

Trencrom Hill, home of Raw Chocolate Pie, is, as I have mentioned an ancient site, an iron age fort and before that settlements going right back to Neolithic man. There is also a ley line running across the Hill so it is not surprising that it is a place where various ancient festivals are celebrated throughout the year.  Whether followers of any religion, or none, people can often be found, usually at dawn, doing something they believe in, whether it be religious, zen yoga or following some ancient traditions and folklore.  On Easter Sunday this year, just when we were heading into our darkest period of the virus, as dawn broke, the dogs and I stumbled upon a complete orchestra and choir singing hymns right on top of the hill. It was amazing. This weekend, of course, it was the Summer Solstice, the longest day, a celebration of the sun and Summer, marked not just in Western Europe but across the world, ancient and modern and, one likes to imagine, by the Neolithic men and women of Trencrom Hill.



This festival, plus the fact, that at any rate for the time being, we seem to have turned the corner so far as this awful virus is concerned, made Deets and I think we should do something special.  Every year on Black Friday, we do an offer called The Full House which is our 12 Raw Chocolate pies in a gift box. This would normally cost £27 but we reduce it to just £17. 


‘The Full House’

It is always a big success and we suddenly thought, as it has been a rough period for us all, why not run the offer now, after all we do have something to celebrate, however cautiously.  The offer runs from today until the end of June and does not interfere with the 10% discount which continues on the rest of our range for as long as we can.

I have a particular soft spot for these seasonal festivals.  Deets was born on 21st March, the first day of Spring.

Take care,  
Debby

A dad box, a musician, a new shop and a rosemary bush

My younger son, Charlie, is a musician.  He plays bass guitar and double bass. After studying Commercial Music at Bath Spa University, he sought his fortune in London and moved into a friend’s flat, sleeping on a mattress in a cupboard under the stairs (Harry Potter style) and working two jobs. He got his first break with the X Factor, not as a contestant but as a backing musician.  Since then he has never looked back and has worked with some wonderful artists, touring the world many times over. You might guess from this that I am immensely proud of him and think he is hugely talented. Charlie would say he has just been lucky – the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle!

The reason for mentioning Charlie is that his greatest achievement has been to marry Ainslie, a member of a local St Ives family.  Ainslie and her two sisters have taken over the Raw Chocolate Pie shop in Fore Street, St Ives, now called St Ives Co and it is reopening on Wednesday, 16th July from 11am – 3pm most days. It is a gift shop with a difference, a chance, as the girls say, to take home a little piece of St Ives. It is a truly lovely shop and they are also selling our Pocket Pie. How wise!


Inside the new St Ives Co shop

With Fathers’ Day coming up, you will find on our Gifts & Offers page a Dad Raw Chocolate Gift Box.  It is really good value and we can send it direct to your father, just add a message for him on the order form



And the Rosemary bush?  Charlie and Ainslie got married last August and wanted each of their guests to a have a little rosemary plant by their place setting.  I have a lovely rosemary bush in the garden and I took 90 cuttings over May and June which grew into fine little plants by August. This May/June, I am snipping away at the bush again to provide sprigs of rosemary for the Lockdown boxes.  I have promised the poor plant a year off in 2021. Yes, it appears I am talking to a rosemary bush, lockdown must be getting to me!

Take care,
Debby

House Martins and Greedy Babies

Dear Customers,


Chycoggan is the name of the converted barn which is home to Deets and I  and were we work.  The ground floor of the barn houses the office and dispatch, Deets has her own separate building across a courtyard which is the kitchen where Raw Chocolate Pie and Raw Fudge are made.

Chycoggan means “House Martins’ House” in Cornish and house martins obligingly nest in the walls every year to give the name authenticity. This year, there is a nest just above the window by my desk from where I dispatch your orders.  Initially, the chirping of the baby birds was delightful but as they became more raucous, I counted six extremely fat babies constantly demanding food while their poor mother was looking alarmingly thin and was frankly run ragged.  I had already put out water for her, given the heat of the last few weeks.  I then added bread and chopped up fruit (the spoilt babies, of course, love blueberries – they could have gone for something cheaper!). 



All went well for a week until some magpies found the stash of food so I have had to remove it, the thugs have actually broken the water bowl. So back to square one except at least Mother has had a week’s relative rest. The greedy babies are fatter than ever with no sign of feathering up.  Why should they bother learning to fly the nest when they are being waited on wing and claw.  It is all very distracting. 
However, despite my concerns, orders are bang up to date and after a tricky time at the beginning of lockdown, Royal Mail now seem to be coping well. We send everything 24 hour tracked so you should receive your orders within 2 days,

I will continue with the 10% discount for as long as I can.  Do take a look at the Gifts & Offers page where there are some really serious savings to be had, particularly bearing in mind Fathers’ Day coming up on 21st June.  I have to say Father house martin is not setting a very good example as to how dads should behave. He is nowhere to be seen!

Thanks as always for your support and take care.

Debby

Pocket Pie is Back

Dear Customers,

This week I have come to the definite conclusion that anyone running a business should not ask their staff to do any job which they haven’t tried to do themselves.  Such a move would guarantee a much greater appreciation of their workforce.

What brought this on? Well, it is the result of bringing back Pocket Pie.  It is absolutely no problem at all for Deets to make it – she is our champion chocolate maker.   The drama is the wrapping because Pocket Pie is a hand wrapped product and you can guess who’s doing it!  Our best wrappers Donna and Sophie (who are still on furlough) can wrap 100 Pocket Pies an hour – no problem! Me – the record so far is 48 in an hour, which Donna kindly said on the phone the other day was a good start for a beginner.  I do believe I have always appreciated their skills, now there is no chance of ever taking them for granted.  

Early this morning, I left Trencrom for the first time in nearly 10 weeks, met a friend (social distanced) and we walked my dogs on Porth Kidney, accompanied by 2 Pocket Pies to keep us going.


“Early morning on Porth Kidney beach with St Ives in the background”

Pocket Pie is ideal this weather because it does not need to be kept refrigerated.  It has all the same benefits as our standard range – vegan, therefore dairy free, also gluten free, soya free, no added refined sugar and low in carbs.  It is a real energy boost to take on a run/walk/bike ride.

Having said that, try putting Raw Chocolate Pie and Fudge in the freezer for half an hour. They come out like a chocolate/fudge ice lolly, and without any dairy, there is none of that cloying taste of standard chocolate  which is not so good in hot weather.

Well, enough from me, back to the wrapping.

Stay safe, thanks for all your kind messages which really keep me and Deets going.

Debby

Free Mung Beans

Dear Customers.

I think the most fundamental cornerstone of my working life has been the study and supply of FOOD AS MEDICINE.  The old adage that “we are what we eat” is so true.

For me, it began with herbs, not just herbs for cooking but herbal medicine and the realisation that herbs have been healing mankind in their gentle, non intrusive way for so many centuries. The journey’s end is Raw Chocolate Pie and learning about the extraordinary health benefits of raw cacao, when most of us were raised to believe that chocolate was “naughty”, or at the very least a special treat.  Yet the Aztecs, who knew a thing or two, used raw cacao as their currency, it was so highly prized.

In between these two discoveries, I learnt about sprouting seeds and beans. Somewhere along the evolutionary path, we took a wrong turning.  Grains are the staple diet of the world but because they are indigestible raw, we cook them and this in turn destroys all the plant enzymes.  But sprout the seed or bean and at the point of germination, a miracle happens. The result is a baby plant which contains the perfect nutritional mix to sustain itself.  Not only is the sprouted bean or seed suddenly digestible and nutritious, it is also very tasty.



So, for the next week, I am enclosing FREE with every order a 200g pack of Mung Beans, complete with sprouting instructions for which you need no special equipment. Sprouted mung beans taste like young peas straight from the pod, children love them and will love growing them.  Sprouted mung beans are a blood and liver cleanser, aid the lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and a real energy boost. They are the perfect way to start sprouting, they are so quick and easy. I do hope you enjoy them.

Our 10% discount continues.

Take care,  
Debby

10% discount continues

Dear Customers,

On my walk up Trencrom Hill every morning at about 6.30 am, invariably the dogs and I meet a retired Cornish farm worker, who like me, enjoys the peace of an early morning start.  He and his wife are both retired and he has been telling me how he feels incredibly guilty because his life is so much happier and more fulfilled than it was before the pandemic. “We have started living the way we used to do as children”, he said, “it’s so simple.”  They walk everywhere, they eat what he grows in the garden, augmented by eggs from their chickens. His wife bakes and darns their clothes and because they are on a very tight budget, they no longer use a washing machine and dryer but wash by hand and dry their clothes in the sun.  “We’re busy all the time,” he says, “thinking of different and better ways to live our lives and we wonder why we never did it before.”  Of course, they are very lucky to have a garden and to live in such a beautiful place but it was the simplicity which struck a cord with me because I suddenly realised that is how Deets, my daughter, makes our Raw Chocolate Pie.


Trencrom Woods, early morning

My bedtime reading at the moment is a book about the history of chocolate making (yes, I am obsessed). The way some of the large chocolate confectionery manufacturers make their chocolate is horrendous.  Quite a lot of the industry seems to be obsessed with price point and increased profits rather than producing a healthy good tasting bar and the result is products full of fat, sugar, additives and stabilizers - such a waste.   Their manufacturing processes are a lesson in efficiency, but at what cost?

Deets, by contract, grinds the raw cacao and mixes in the other dried products such as ground almonds and lucuma.  She then melts the coconut oil (to a temperature of below 42C so it remains raw), adds a little agave and any fruit we are using.  She then blends it all together and puts the mixture in moulds by hand.  Every ingredient is organic and fair trade.   Someone wanted to buy the business a few years ago and asked me how much the manufacturing machinery would cost.  The answer was about £300 and he just didn’t believe me!  It is a very simple process but all the better for it, I truly believe.

While we are in the teeth of this horrible virus, I am going to hold all the prices and continue with the 10% discount.  I have re-introduced the offer page giving further savings which I hope are helpful.

Take care and thank you, as always, for your support.

Debby

Mid May Update

Dear Customers,

We are in very difficult times and this morning the situation seems increasingly confusing.  My daughter, Deets, and I are working hard and are now able to tackle a few wholesale orders as well as online sales - but what happens next?

West Cornwall is magic – a beautiful place to visit, a wonderful place to live but it does have its darker side.  For young people, in particular, it is a very difficult place to carve a career and so many of our children are forced to leave The Duchy to seek permanent employment up country.   Because the main industry down here is hospitality, there is very little all-year-round employment which makes even paying rent a problem and for many a mortgage is completely out of the question.  And that was before the Coronavirus. 

Years ago, my husband and I founded a herb farm on the Lizard, called Halzephron – some of you may remember it, wonderful views across Mounts Bay.  It was a successful business but to keep it so, every year at the end of October half term, I had to lay off all the shop staff until February.  They were all lovely about it and always came back to work each year but it broke my heart because I knew how difficult it was for some of them.

It has been such a joy to me that The Raw Chocolate Pie Company has always been able to offer work 12 months of the year.  Of course we are busy in the Summer months but our peak turnover comes at Christmas and Easter and then there is Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.  We have never really had a quiet time - until now.   We cannot comply with social distancing, our premises is way too small.  So, just like thousands of other small businesses up and down the country, we wait and keep our fingers crossed that we will find a way through….and there will be one.


 
I am continuing with the 10% discount going forward which does make our Raw Chocolate very competitive and I have reintroduced the Gifts and Offers page which shows some substantial savings.

Thanks again for your continued support and please take care.

Debby