Koko snack with no guilt. Viva!

My name’s Sarah and I’m an entrepreneur. I’m creating a business selling raw chocolate online. My brand is called Viva Koko, and this is the story of how it came to being.

koko bars
Viva Koko beautiful selection box: you can get these treats with a monthly subscription
I love to cook, but I’m also into health and fitness, so I like to experiment with different types of healthy recipes.

I stumbled across raw chocolate by accident, while trying out some sugar, gluten and dairy free baking, as a treat for my colleagues.

We were in bad habits of buying sugary snacks during busy periods, and we knew we needed to stop, so I thought some healthier treats would be a good way to bring us steadily off the sugar addiction!
One of the recipes had a chocolate topping, but as the recipe was gluten and dairy free, it was made with cacao powder and coconut oil. I realised that although it melted a little outside of the fridge, it was actually delicious on it’s own and it tasted just like chocolate.

Some Viva Koko beauties
I was intrigued by this finding, and I thought that there must be a way to create a delicious dairy-free chocolate.
I continued experimenting with the recipe, trying lots of different combinations of ingredients, combined with lots of google searches.

Each time I tested the recipe, I tried several variations, and got my flatmates to taste it and tell me which ingredients worked best.

They loved trying my creations, although some definitely went down better than others!
Thanks to their input, I now finally have a recipe that doesn’t melt outside of the fridge, has a chocolate taste and consistency, and it doesn’t contain any dairy, gluten or refined sugar.
The next step was to actually start building the business so that I could sell my creation, and for that, I needed a name!
I came across a “Free From” festival in Brick Lane and decided it might be a good place to get some inspiration.
I persuaded two friends to come with me, who are definitely not into healthy eating and alternative ingredients!
I wasn’t sure how they would find it, but they sampled some really interesting food, from energy balls and smoothies, to curries and cakes, and I think they’re converted!
We chatted to similar minded start-ups, which got all three of us excited about the potential for my chocolate.
I had brought some samples of my chocolate along, so we sat down so that my friends could try it. As we taste-tested, we tried to come up with some names.
It was a lengthy but fun brainstorming session, and we eventually came up with a shortlist!
And now the journey continues as I build my website, source packaging and market my product.
If you want to know more check out www.vivakoko.com

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