When we started with this, we had never dreamt that we shall be in a place where we stand today. It all started off with a small idea and two confused minds. In September 2012, when we were in our 1st year of graduation, our college was planning to host a flea market event “Samhiti- Creating Community...”. I (Padma Kataria) and Apurva Kharit (my best friend) thought of keeping a stall of Homemade Chocolates but we never thought of converting it into a serious business.
Chocolicious- Irresistibly Delicious is a homemade chocolates brand that manufactures different flavors of homemade chocolates ranging from the basic flavors like plane chocolates, fruit N nut, roasted almonds to delicacies like Almond Roca, Marzipan, Chocolate truffle, Gooey Chocolate and many more.
When we started we just had 4 most basic flavors of chocolate. There was no branding done, neither did we try to market our product. For one whole year we did not brand it, in fact we had no knowledge of how marketing helped a business to grow. And so the people of the city were not aware of what we were actually doing. The sales were quiet negligible. Next year, in the next addition of Samhiti we decided to brand our product and so we decided to name it as “Chocolicious- Irresistibly Delicious”. We came up with our business cards and labels for chocolates according to the flavors. This provided our homemade chocolates with recognition and the sales were very high when compared to the first year.
After we found that our product was a sellable one, we decided to market our brand online. We created a page on one of the world renowned social networking website Facebook. And then there was no looking back. We got a very overwhelming response from our customers. We set new standards every time we came up with something new and different. Right from chocolates, to bouquets, to chocolate bowls, and now to chocolate flowers. Chocolicious- Irresistibly Delicious, for the first time in the city, introduced Chocolate bowls (bowls completely made of chocolate), in which ice creams and chilled moctails are served. We tried to supply to restaurants, cafes and retail outlets and were successful in supplying them to Chini Mini (a Chinese restaurant) and Seven Beans (restaurant). We came up with different types of packaging designs to suit different occasions. Lots of samples were distributed for marketing the product. It took 3 years for us to have happy customers who came back again for the sake of the most sinful and exotic flavors that we provide. The sales were highest during the 3rd year due to the aggressive marketing that we did through the social networking sites.
The journey was never easy. We put in the same amount of dedication and hard work each time we received orders from our customers. The taste, quality and the flavors that we provided helped us to sustain in the market along with other homemade chocolate makers in the city and the two most competitive brands Cadbury and Nestle. In spite of providing the best quality and taste of chocolates, the customers were not ready to buy it, as the market is very price sensitive. And till today only 2/4th of the market prefers homemade chocolates over regular branded chocolates.
Today, Chocolicious- Irresistibly Delicious makes chocolates of more than 30 most irresistible flavors that you crave more and more for. And this would never have been possible without the support of our parents and our customers who always came back with positive feedbacks. It makes us proud that till date we haven’t had a single unsatisfied customer. In fact, we have successfully delivered orders to Bangalore and by this we achieved another milestone. Being a part of this student magazine is like having added another golden feather in our hat.
When we thought about the future prospects of our business, we did a small survey on “The Financial Feasibility Of Starting With A Homemade Chocolate Store In The City” in which the Hubli market was studied to know whether working from whom is better or starting up with an outlet would be more preferable. After the completion of the survey we found out that it is better to work from kitchen for another year, study the market again and then plan to come with an outlet because the market very price sensitive and it will not easily accept a homemade chocolate store in the city.
Very recently, we also came up with our Instagram Page CHOCOLIIOUS.HOMEMADECHOCOLATE, in order to reach out more customers too serve then wide smiles and happiness.
This is our story. This is how two confused minds worked it out and made it successful and we are glad to share it.