I started my Chocolate Production Factory with less than N20,000 - CEO The Chocboy Brand

By Kemi Mobuse - Thursday, March 24, 2016

While browsing and looking around on my friend's Instagram page, i came across some personalized chocolates, reading more on it, my friend mentioned the manufactures's name, and said the chocolates are made right here in Nigeria. I was like, Made in Nigeria Chocolate???, i quickly went through Instagram to find the guy, as if my life depended on it, trust, me, i got him, lol!

He was quiet happy to oblige us, a chance to interview him, excerpts below:

Kemi Mobuse blog: Can we meet you?
Thechocboy: I am Oluwajare Fola-Bolumole
Kemi Mobuse blog: What is it you do exactly?
Thechocboy: I produce chocolates and chocolaty treats.

Kemi Mobuse blog: What inspired you going into this line of business? This is a virgin and untapped territory in Nigeria
Thechocboy: Just like you said, its virgin and untapped basically it’s a reason but more importantly I saw an opportunity to put Nigeria on the map in that area and I felt I could give it a shot

Kemi Mobuse blog: I was hoping it was because you love chocolate, just like I do?Lol!
Thechocboy: Well its 40% of it. My family is a sweet tooth family I love candies like crazy. But honestly the bigger picture is re positioning Nigeria
Kemi Mobuse blog: What is the name of your brand?

Thechocboy: The ChocBoy Brand
Kemi Mobuse blog: How old is it now? And what was the market reception like, when you started
Thechocboy: Its 5 years now. And market reception has been encouraging, It is amazing how much reception for something like chocolate Ibadan people have

Kemi Mobuse blog: How did you start out financial wise?
Thechocboy: I started with 20000 naira. It all started as a discussion with a friend to help buy a small quantity of chocolates when returning on a trip from the US. I informed her I had a budget of $100. That was the start-up capital. This at that time had a naira equivalent of 15200 naira.
When she was away in the US, I was developing sales strategies. I developed my target audience and I acquired the necessary devices to push sales, at that time all I needed was a blackberry I got one from my mum, the one she more like passed down.
For me the most important thing was people. I told as many people as possible, I developed ambassadors for the brand. I decided to build a brand around fashion- a fashionable brand. Something that has a lovely coolness factor, something you would want to be a part of. This therefore has brought up many ideas that centre on a classy clique.
When the first set of chocolates arrived, the customers where already available, they were just waiting to buy the chocolates. Well that’s the genesis of it all. This brand has since developed into three things majorly – Events, Products and Sales.

Kemi Mobuse blog: Did that buy much?

Thechocboy: Yes that bought a lot in 2010 December. I began by purchasing branded chocolates from outside the country
Kemi Mobuse blog: Do you now produce from home or you have a factory?

Thechocboy: Right now I produce from a make shift factory at home. It’s actually a factory within another factory in the compound of my parent’s house
Kemi Mobuse blog: Do you have special ingredients you use for your chocolates?

Thechocboy: Yes we have our own recipes

Kemi Mobuse blog: And how many types or variety do you currently have?

Thechocboy: We have Dark, White and Milk Chocolates. We Just finished the test production of our chocolates with peanuts, Soon to hit the market.
Kemi Mobuse blog: Nice one
Kemi Mobuse blog: Do you have a secret ingredient that is unique to you to?
Thechocboy: If I say yes wouldn't I be exposing us to armed robbers, If I say no wouldn't that sound like we don't know what we are doing? Of course every production company has its secrets.

Kemi Mobuse blog: Ha-ha, true that
Kemi Mobuse blog: What major challenges have you experienced that nearly made you give up? More importantly, what has that taught you?
Thechocboy: Funding. Chocolate production is capital intensive. Its like what we have in petroleum. We export cocoa bean and import chocolate because we can’t refine
What that has really taught me is how to trust in God. He’s the source of everything
Kemi Mobuse blog: Can you walk through a short summary of how your chocolate is made? No need to mention your secret ingredient, lol!
Thechocboy: Chocolate is basically made form three major ingredients. Cocoa Bean, Milk and Sugar and a little Cocoa butter depending on what you want to achieve
The techniques of processing the cocoa bean is long and tasking, But at some point the sugar and milk are integrated
Kemi Mobuse blog: What are your future plans for your chocolates?
Thechocboy: First Ibadan takeover, then Nigeria, then export to Africa and to the rest of the world all within the next 10 years
Kemi Mobuse blog: How can you describe your chocolates in terms of price and taste?

Thechocboy: Our chocolates can be a bit categorized as pricey but it’s basically because of two major factors. Cost of production and quality of product. More like scale of production not cost of production
Almost everybody that has eaten our chocolate cannot believe that it was made by a Nigerian. It’s world-class. I didn’t train in New York for fun na
Kemi Mobuse blog: You took training in chocolate production specifically?

Thechocboy: Yes I did
Kemi Mobuse blog: Any advice for future entrepreneurs?
Thechocboy: For future entrepreneurs. My advice is; never be afraid to keep trying irrespective of how many times it looks like you've failed truth is you were not failing, you were learning

Kemi Mobuse blog: Lastly, how can you be contacted?

Thechocboy: Our contacts. Call:08091269999, 
Email: jare@chocboy.com (my personal email) 
@thechocboy on IG and Twitter.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thechocboychocolateybrand.

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