Business profile: Mortimer Chocolate CompanyBy David Millward
February 11, 2013
The boss: Adrian Smith.
After a successful career spanning nearly 20 years with Masterfoods Adrian decided to leave and start up the Mortimer Chocolate Company with a mission to find and produce fine quality chocolate from around the world.
At Masterfoods, Adrian created and managed the Galaxy and Maltesers brands of hot chocolate drinks, making them a substantial player in the hot drinks market. Prior to this, Adrian had been one of Masterfoods’ top cocoa tasters, responsible for the buying of cocoas in Africa and South America.
Major chocolate manufacturers blend these cocoas to make a product that tastes the same year after year, a process which Adrian felt was depriving the consumer of real and distinct chocolate flavour.
What is your business about? Mortimer Chocolate Company is one of a few UK chocolate producers. Focusing on growers who nurture their cocoa to produce fine quality beans, the cocoa is made into a 100 per cent plain chocolate powder, retaining its unique flavour.
Cocoa beans, just like coffee and wine, vary in flavour according to the soil, season and region in which they were grown. Adrian used his experience and knowledge to select cocoas direct from origin to produce a 100 per cent chocolate powder, ideal for making delicious chocolate drinks, so the consumer could experience and understand cocoa flavours from around the world.
The Mortimer Chocolate Company is a family run business with Adrian’s wife Felicity, a nutritionist, helping out in between looking after their three young children.
What product/services do you offer? Award-winning Pure Dark Chocolate Powder to make delicious hot chocolate and to cook with. Dairy-Free White Couverture Powder, Melt and Dip Chocolates.
How and when did you start your business? September 2006.
How many staff do you employ? Mortimer Chocolate is a family-run business with Adrian and Felicity’s three children regularly taking part in helping with tasting.
Who are your customers? Waitrose stores, Budgens in Mortimer, Weller’s Grocers, Burghfield, Wellington Farm Shop, Horse and Groom, Mortimer, Centre Stores, Eversley, The Vyne, National Trust, Tastes Deli, Eton, Roots Deli, High Wycombe, Dragonfly Café, Dinton Pastures, Daisy’s Coffee Shop, Sonning Common.
What sets you apart from the competition? Mortimer Chocolate Company prides itself on its delicious, award-winning chocolate.
It uses a unique process, to make chocolate in powder form, so that it dissolves easily to make a rich hot chocolate drink, but melts easily too, so is great to cook with and you can eat it straight from the pack.
How has the recession affected business? It hasn’t. Chocolate is pretty recession-proof.
How do you feel about the future? Mortimer Chocolate Company plans to grow and expand, to find new customers for their chocolate and to create new and exciting recipes and products.