On the up Fred Heritage · 11 October 2016
Well + Happy: Guilt-free chocolate you can now buy from Planet Organic
For Chelsea Parsons, leaving the corporate world after ten years wasnt easy. The entrepreneur admitted to Business Advice it took a lot of determination to take the leap in 2015. In less than a year though, her range of dairy, refined sugar and gluten-free chocolate has gone from pop-up obscurity to being stocked in 50 independent cafes and retailers, as well as Planet Organic supermarkets and online retailer Not on the High Street. Parsons expects her exciting new brand Well + Happy to turnover 150, 000 this year. (1) Who are you and what’s your business Im Chelsea Parsons, founder of Well + Happy. We create the ultimate guilt-free indulgences through chocolate. Our chocolate is free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar but not free from tasting and looking incredible. Born from a love of sweet things and studies in nutrition, I wanted to create something better for people to indulge in. (2) How long have you been around for? I started the brand 18 months ago and weve been rapidly growing ever since. Initially we were planning to open a cafe, but after testing the products in a pop-up, the chocolates just took off, so we decided to listen to our consumers and go from there! From starting in my home kitchen, to now having a production team – weve come a long way in under 12 months. (3) How do you make money? Our chocolate bars are stocked in a wide range of retailers, juice bars, fitness studios and cafes across the UK, as well as selling chocolate boxes and bars online via our webshop, Not on the High Street and Yumbles. We also commission chocolate inspired canap’s for events, press days and even weddings, as well as consulting on all things chocolate. (4) What makes you different and why should people take notice? Were different because were all about creating something which is better for your body, your mind and the planet as well as being beautiful too. People eat with their eyes first so creating something which is a feast for both our eyesight and our tummies was important to us. But for us it’s not just chocolate, were about creating moments of happiness you deserve to indulge in. (5) What was key in terms of getting started? Getting started largely required alot of guts on my part. Leaping into the startup world after being in the corporate arena for ten years seemed pretty crazy and sometimes scary, and some may say stupid. Once Id taken the leap, the real key for me, was meeting as many people in the industry as possible networking, building contacts and asking questions. The food industry is one of the most collaborative and supportive industries and it’s been incredible to listen and learn from others. Without asking questions and for advice and support, I definitely wouldnt be where I am today. (6) What’s your biggest achievement to date? There have been so many highs and I try to celebrate all of the wins especially because the weeks fly past. An awesome achievement was when we started stocking with Planet Organic stores across London. We then successfully overfunded on a crowdfunding campaign, which was incredible, closely followed by growing the team and expanding our operation. (7) What setbacks have you had along the way?
ABOUT THE EXPERTFred Heritage
Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.