Love Cocoa
Love Cocoa was founded in 2016
Richard Bell

Dragons’ Den victory for chocolate startup founded by Cadbury descendent

A chocolate startup developed by the great-great-great grandson of confectionary mogul John Cadbury has featured on Dragons’ Den.

The episode aired on Sunday (December 23) saw Love Cocoa founder James Cadbury secure offers from Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani before accepting a deal with the latter.

James set up London-based Love Cocoa in 2016 after leaving his career as a city trader to follow in his family’s footsteps. His brand works to reinvent British favourites with a contemporary twist, with flavours including Gin & Tonic, Earl Grey tea and English Mint.

He appeared on the show offering the Dragons £75k in return for a 5% stake in the company, and planned to invest the cash in product development and hiring new staff.

There were two moments in the show in which James had to go away and think about the deal with Tej Lalvani, but eventually he agreed to £75k for a 15% share.

James previously worked as a city trader

After the episode was filmed in May, James had a series of lengthy discussions with Mr Lalvani but has since decided to go it alone.

James said: “It was a tough process that was also incredibly nerve-wracking; I felt the pressure of having to uphold the family name.

“To be invited onto the show was an amazing experience both in terms of the potential investment and exposure, but the final deal was not quite what I wanted.”

He added: “Tej is a great entrepreneur and a true gentleman; he completely understood and we left on good terms.”

Since filming, Love Cocoa has grown through deals with stockists including John Lewis and a new focus on exports, which now account for 30% of the firm’s £700k-plus turnover.

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