Virgin StartUp: Yucoco

Chocolate is pretty much the worlds no1 gift. Perfect for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, anniversaries, the list could go on and on. So it makes sense when starting the business of your dreams, you make it one based around chocolate. That's exactly  what Sophie Frost and Tom Travers did when they founded, Yucoco. A chocolate business that lets customers create their own unique chocolates.

Founders: Sophie Frost and Tom Travers

Location: London

Elevator pitch:

Yucoco allows customers to design and personalise their own delicious, handmade chocolate bar at Yucoco.com. Choosing from over 100 different toppings, gift cards and personalised packaging, there are over a billion possible combinations.

What's the business model?

Currently purely e-Commerce, selling personalised chocolate bars through our website at Yucoco.com.

Who are your competitors?

Although our product is unique in the market, we see our potential competitors ranging from other chocolate companies through to online florists and online gift companies.

What's your USP?

We allow customers to design and personalise their own chocolate bar – using high quality chocolate and toppings (many handmade!) through to personalising their packaging and selecting a gift card – the combinations are literally endless!

Where did the idea come from?

Going on a chocolate making course for a bit of fun and realizing how much fun concocting your own flavours and combinations could be – and how popular you were when you took them home!

How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?

£10,000

How are you going to use the money to grow your business?

We used the loan to pay for our first lot of packaging to be printed and to complete the development of our website – both crucial in launching Yucoco.

Who’s your Virgin StartUp mentor?

Darren Craig.

What challenge is he helping you overcome?

Many – and he continues to help! At the start, his help was about ensuring the company is setup and structured in the right way to ensure we are in the best position for future growth. It has proven to be really important advice, but wasn’t necessarily obvious when you have a million other things to do.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?

Although not necessarily the most inspirational advice, the most practical was around the importance of developing and writing a strong business plan – it is the best way of turning an idea into a potential business and has been invaluable in getting Yucoco off the ground.

What’s your workspace like?

Often messy, always delicious…working with chocolate has its challenges!

YucocoDesk

Where will your business be in 12 month’s time?

Having worked exceptionally hard all year and made many, many delicious chocolate bars we hope to be in a position to bring some more exciting new chocolate products to the market. You’ll have to come back and have a look!

For more information, head to www.yucoco.com follow them on Twitter @YucocoChocolate or like them on Facebook