In our new ‘Partner Profiles’ series, we’ll be speaking some of the people behind the food and drink brands that make our hampers what they are. This week, we spoke with Linda Barrie from Choc Affair.
What is your background and how did you come to found Choc Affair?
It all started at home with both of my daughters having a milk intolerance and myself making them hot chocolate drinks using soya milk and dark chocolate. The seed was planted that there was a possible business idea and before I knew it, I was making our chocolate stirrers at home in the kitchen and Choc Affair was born.
What does a typical day look like for you?
To be fair, every day is slightly different, but I am mainly office-based, working within our sales and marketing team. We are a small team and we chat through new ideas together, as I believe the more minds the better.
Outside of the business, what does an ordinary day look like?
I am busy with my family, my church life and my granddaughter, so there’s never a dull moment!
What things do you consider when creating new products?
There are many things to consider as retail is always changing and we need to stay fresh. We try to look ahead to potential trends, then the actual effect the product may have on our production methods as we only have a certain amount of equipment with which we create our range and we need to maximise the efficiencies of it. We consider how the product will look visually with our design team, and then also if it is for gifting, how the product will travel. There is no point making a beautiful product if it will not arrive at our retailers in one piece! Then, of course, we consider the final cost to the retailer and the end consumer as we need to ensure we are offering a lovely product at a fair price.
Are there any new product launches we should look forward to?
Now, that would be telling… but we always have an idea or two in the pipeline. In fact, we are currently working on the new flavours we are going to be introducing for Christma 2020!
Do you have any personal favourites among your products?
I personally love our Orange and Geranium bar. It has always been my favourite since we introduced it.
What advice would you give to business women looking to enter the food sector?
Regardless of the sector, I would simply say go for it! Work hard, get a good team around you and enjoy the journey.
Looking for a gift containing Choc Affair? Browse our range of delicious chocolate hampers!