Posted on 17 March 2021
James Cabury (1985 – ) is following in the family tradition of making chocolate, with his Love Cocoa brand.
A descendant of the famous Cadbury family, James is the great-great-great-grandson of the Quaker philanthropist John Cadbury (1801 – 1889), who began the business and whose son George Cadbury (1839 – 1922) turned Cadbury’s chocolate into an empire.
As Quakers, the Cadbury family used ethical values to manufacture and sell chocolate. The Cadbury family was famous for its philanthropy, creating the Bournville model village to house its workers near its factory in the countryside outside Birmingham.
Growing up near the model village of Bournville, James Cadbury was never far away from his family’s roots. As a child, his fascination with chocolate grew as he learned about Cadbury’s history as part of several school projects. At the time, the Bourneville factory was still manufacturing Cadbury’s chocolate and nearby streets would be full of its smell.
James say of his of hetigage:
“When Cadbury set up, that was their promise, and chocolate has since maybe become a little bit different. I want to create a really good product that I am proud of, that people enjoy eating and is not full of cheap ingredients.”
After quitting his job in the city, James founded Love Cocoa in 2016, guided by the principles of his family ancestors. Following in this tradition, James pledged that 10% Love Cocoa’s profits will go to charity and is determined his chocolate will be fairly traded and made in Britain.
Love Cocoa came to national attention in the UK when James appeared on an 2018 episode of BBC programme Dragon’s Den. A TV show aimed at investing in small businesses, Dragon’s Den saw Cadbury pitching his business Love Cocoa to the ‘dragons’.
After securing investment, Love Cocoa has gone from strength to strength and is sold at Liberty, Planet Organic, Harvey Nichols, and Harrods, as well as an online delivery service. The chocolate itself is manufactured in a family-run British factory that sources fair trade and organic cocoa from farmers in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
For James Cadbury, the supply chain is quite murky around cocoa:
“Particularly in Africa, where there is still some child labour. A few companies are calling it out, but the bigger corporations need to tell people where their cocoa is coming from and [admit] that they don’t know if anyone is being exploited. We work with a Colombian company, who process the cocoa beans as well as sell them. They employ a lot of people and the money is put back into Colombia, as they give money to the country’s schools and hospitals.”
With the rise of multinational companies in the 20th century, large family-owned businesses couldn’t compete and so Cadbury’s had their Quaker family influence phased out. Cadbury’s was eventually sold to Mondelez International (then Kraft Foods) in 2010.
In 2017, Mondelez paid no corporation tax – despite its profits soaring to £185million in the previous year. James insists that Love Cocoa will not ‘play’ the tax system to increase profits, saying, “It is in my DNA to give something back.”
Images from www.telegraph.co.uk