Emma Jackman on Conscious Chocolate...
Born after a sensory experience in Asia of eating raw foods combined with yoga and meditation, Conscious Chocolate was born after Emma Jackman returned from her travels with a craving for chocolate.
What was the inspo behind the name?
It really incorporates many aspects of making conscious decisions about eating, ingredients and lifestyle as well as being about ethics and sourcing of the food you choose to buy. On a different note, eating raw chocolate could be said to raise your consciousness.
And the flavours as there are some pretty unusual ones.
I was really into superfoods, juices, smoothies and raw foods when I started experimenting with my chocolate making. A lot of really potent ingredients don’t taste good on their own but if you wrap them in chocolate then they taste amazing and you are getting the goodness of the ingredients as well! This is relevant for the Maca and Spirulina or the Goji and Coconut and Chia and Coconuts bars which are like a protein bar wrapped in chocolate.
The Love Potion No 9 was made as a gift to some friends of mine who were getting married!
And the Orange and Tangerine use beautiful essential oils which relieve anxiety and are uplifting and comforting so are a bit like a hug in a bar! Each recipe does have a story to go with it.
What’s your favourite flavour?
I love the Four Nuts as it is crunchy and I like the nuts to be quite coarsely ground and it’s a bit like a meal !
What’s the best seller?
Love Potion No 9 – but you have to like that Turkish Delight flavour to really get this one!
A day in the life of Emma? Pre lockdown
I’m a real doer! Get up around 5.30am and go for a run with the dogs, shower, bit of yoga, then get my daughter up and have breakfast (half grapefruit and avocado on toast!), my daughter walks to school and either I would drive into the office, which I did a few times a week or work from home. Usually I start a work day with tasting the latest batch of chocolate and then get down to looking at new packaging, newsletters, website social media, new product ideas, PR and lots of meetings with the teams helping me. Get home and take the dogs out again and my daughter to various clubs, eat …. and then try to find some down time!
Not much has changed other than being on Zoom with colleagues all day instead of in person and now of course I am home schooling as well. I still get up early and do my running and yoga but take lots of breaks to feed and support my daughter’s home schooling (she is in year 6), we play lots of badminton quite badly in our garden as well! We are enjoying not rushing about to clubs after school and are lucky in that we live rurally with lots of beautiful walks all around so make sure we go on late afternoon walks each day and really enjoy the nature and spring flowers around us. We have dinner and try and have relaxing time together in the evenings.
What advice would she give to other female led businesses?
Keep it simple, make sure you know your brand inside out, your brand guidelines and your redlines – of what is really important and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to have a loud voice that stands up for what you believe in – you need to be passionate and you are the best advocate of your product or business. Compromise is often essential but know what you are prepared to compromise on and what you aren’t and be strong.
You offer WFH care packages, which is such a lovely idea. Have you found that we are eating more chocolate atm (I know I am)
That’s a really funny question to ask me as I am normally surrounded by chocolate when I go into work, which isn’t the same for most people, so although I’m still eating lots of chocolate every day it is actually less, but that is probably because I always eat more chocolate when I am in the office; trying new products and I usually check every batch that I made as well! I might be the only woman in the country eating less chocolate than usual. My usual is about 3 bars a day but now it is more like 1! I don’t feel bad when I eat my own chocolate though as I know what is in it and why!
Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
What has happened in lock down is really interesting as the focus has really moved to online. The website sales are much stronger and I am now writing newsletters once a week instead of once a month and really focussing on consumer engagement much more. I think these habits will stay and so the online sales will be really strong in 5 years. I see us having a really strong UK presence in the next 5 years and coming up with a range of very exciting Conscious products that may not necessarily be chocolate!