MULU Raw Chocolate was founded in 2007 by vegan couple, Ben and Kaycee Fordham. Introduced to raw chocolate by Ben’s mother during a family holiday to Cornwall, it wasn’t long before Ben was ordering ingredients and creating his own raw chocolate recipes in the kitchen. Fuelled with a desire to create an ethical and sustainable business which could support their growing family, and with a huge interest in functional foods and health, the couple soon felt that a business hand producing raw chocolate could be just what they had envisaged.
Of course, building any business from scratch takes lots of hard work and research, and for the next year, whilst Ben perfected his smooth raw chocolate recipes and processes, Kaycee explored the market, sourced ingredients and worked on the packaging design and branding. MULU Raw Chocolate was officially launched in November 2008 with three initial raw chocolate bars; Silk - a dairy free, milk chocolate equivalent, Dark and Dark with Raw Cacao Nibs.
In the beginning, the couple took a personal approach to marketing, dealing directly with independent health food stores and taking stands at local craft shows. Whilst they continue to maintain those original relationships, they have now secured nationwide distribution in the UK, and a further 10 European distributors. This amazing growth recently enabled them to relocate their family and production facility to Devon, which was the realisation of a lifelong dream for the pair. With their new ‘creation location’ now up and running, Ben can hand craft in excess of 450 raw chocolate bars each day; a huge jump from the 40 bars he could make in the early days.
Having carved a niche for luxury organic raw chocolate bars, Ben began developing new products. In 2011, MULU launched its now very popular organic raw chocolate buttons. Designed with children in mind, MULU Raw Chocolate Buttons are proving a huge hit with adults and children alike! In March 2013, the couple created the MULU Organic Solid Raw Chocolate Easter Egg and the company took orders from all corners of the globe for this unique product.
MULU Organic Raw Chocolate is made with raw cacao sourced from small-scale producers in Ecuador, where many of the farmers have Fairtrade certification. Organic raw agave and vanilla is also used, and the chocolate is hand wrapped in degradable cellophane and packaged in a recyclable box (or sleeve in the case of the Buttons) printed with plant-based inks.
MULU Raw Chocolate was awarded ‘Organic’ status by Organic Farmers and Growers in 2011 and the couple are now working on promoting this new and exciting aspect to their brand, as well as designing a new range of chocolate bars to be launched later in the year.
Kaycee commented 'Mulu Raw Chocolate is far more than just a business to us; it has given us the opportunity and resources to live together, start a family and build a future and we are eternally grateful for that,'.