04 February 2016
From an initial desire to provide healthy and delicious chocolate for himself and his son, to gaining overnight recognition on Dragon’s Den, Linus Gorpe’s dream to start a wonderful raw chocolate chocolate company began to come true. We have been speaking to Linus about what made him found the company, his day on a plate, and everything healthy lifestyle, so sit back with a bag of choccy mulberries and enjoy!
WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE RAW CHOCOLATE COMPANY, AND AS WE UNDERSTAND YOU PRIDE YOURSELF ON USING THE BEST INGREDIENTS, HOWEVER WHY CACAO INSTEAD OF COCOA, AND WHAT BENEFITS CAN YOU RECEIVE?
The difference between cacao and cocoa is vast and not just a jiggle of letters. Cocoa is roasted and treated with chemicals. For example standard cocoa powder is washed in an alkalising solution, a process known as Dutching. That doesn’t sound so bad until you find out that Dutching involves ammonia. Further, our cacao is sun dried rather than roasted, to preserve nutrients and try to keep the product closer to the natural cacao that grows on the tree. Lots of people try our products and find that they are more easily digestible and they don’t have the negative reactions that they have to mainstream chocolate. We just want to make great chocolate that is good for everyone and good for the growers and the environment.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION BEHIND STARTING THE RAW CHOCOLATE COMPANY?
I really wanted to create wonderful delicious healthy treats for myself and my son. I love chocolate and was introduced to raw chocolate by a friend. I thought “I want to make that, and I want to make it really tasty!”
RAW CHOCOLATE HAS BECOME SOMETHING OF A REVOLUTION WITHIN THE HEALTHY EATING WORLD, HOWEVER WHEN DO YOU THINK THIS WILL CROSS OVER INTO MAIN STREAM SUPERMARKETS?
I think it will be very, very soon. We are already in mainstream supermarkets in Sweden, Germany and Spain. UK will catch up soon ☺
WE ARE HUGE FANS OF THE RAW CHOCOLATE MULBERRIES, BUT WHICH PRODUCT IS YOUR MOST POPULAR, AND WHICH IS YOUR PERSONAL FAVOURITE?
It depends on the country, but in the UK, of the bars Vanoffe is the most popular. Elsewhere it is Pitch Dark. Raw Chocolate Mulberries are a perennial favourite in all countries and the new Vanoffe Mulberries are right up there alongside them now. Personally, I love Vanoffe Dark, generally that is the staff favourite, but my mood and taste buds take me elsewhere every now and again. I’m constantly revisiting old recipes and coming up with new ones, so I might have a favourite that I can’t tell you about yet 😉
OTHER THAN RAW CHOCOLATE WHAT IS A GO-TO SNACK FOR YOU ON A DAILY BASIS?
Believe it or not I used to be a total crisp addict, and now I don’t really have a regular daily snack, I do sometimes have fruit and nut bars like Nakd.
AND LET’S BE HONEST, WE ALL HAVE A VICE WHEN IT COMES TO EATING, WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
Well, I still can be turned by a crisp occasionally…kale chips from Inspiral are a great substitute though. I also sometimes succumb to Dairy Free ice cream like Booja Booja.
WHAT WAS THE TURNING POINT FOR YOU TO BEGIN EATING A RAW FOOD DIET?
It was when I met a girl who only ate raw food. I got really inspired and intrigued. I had no idea that it was possible to eat just raw vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. She gave me a piece of raw chocolate cake and after that I was feeling so energised and happy that I decided there and then to only eat raw food!
AND HOW HAS IT CHANGED YOUR VIEW ON LIFE, FRIENDSHIPS, CAREER ETC?
Well it’s like a domino effect. When I started to make positive changes in my life, it had a knock on effect elsewhere. Looking into nutrition has led me to look at not just physical aspects but also spiritual, metaphysical aspects. I feel my whole self is nourished now, not just by my food, but also by my lifestyle, my friends and relationships. This is even applied to my business and work, it’s a great freedom!
YOU GREW UP IN SWEDEN, WHAT’S THE HEALTH INDUSTRY LIKE OVER THERE? WAS IT EASIER OR HARDER TO MAINTAIN A RAW FOOD LIFESTYLE THERE?
It is much more mainstream, for example you can buy our products in little corner stores much like Spar shops in the UK. Healthy living and appreciation of quality and craftsmanship are very much the norm over there so our products fit in well.
NOW HERE’S THE QUESTION WE ARE LONGING TO KNOW MORE ABOUT: HOW WAS YOUR DRAGON’S DEN EXPERIENCE? WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO APPLY, AND HOW DID IT IMPACT ON THE GROWTH OF YOUR COMPANY?
It was great…and very nerve wracking. I had always found it very challenging to stand in front of people presenting myself or tell stories, so I thought I’d challenge myself by going on a show broadcast to 9 million people! All the Dragons were very lovely people and it was great to meet them all, woo them with chocolate and get the great feedback that they gave – Peter Jones said it was the best chocolate he had ever tasted in the Den! Although I do not have a TV, I’ve always enjoyed Dragons’ Den on catch up and thought about applying a number of times. In the end it was them that approached us and asked us to apply!
TO ENHANCE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE IT’S IMPORTANT TO ENSURE THAT YOU EXERCISE AS WELL – WHAT DO YOU DO TO ENSURE YOU MAINTAIN A BALANCED, ACTIVE LIFESTYLE?
I would like to do more activities with my body, the ones I do on a regular basis are 5rhthms dancing once or twice a week. I love being outside generally, climbing trees and just being outside…in winter I enjoy snowboarding and summer swimming in the sea and wakeboarding when I go out to the summerhouse in Sweden.
DO YOU HAVE A MANTRA THAT YOU LIVE BY?
Trust and Love, see the love in everyone, recognising that fear is an illusion, share and ask for help. Living with these values makes me very happy!!
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND THE RAW CHOCOLATE COMPANY?
www.therawchocolatecompany.com, facebook (@therawchocolatecompany), instagram (@therawchocolatecompany), twitter (@therawchocco) and pinterest (@therawchocco) and in 1500 stores in the UK ☺
AND LASTLY, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM YOU IN THE NEW YEAR?
Quite a lot! Brand new packaging that not only looks smarter, but maintains the product better within and reduces waste going to landfill and is recyclable. We’ve also got 4 new products – two more bars and two more raw chocolate snacks…launching in April.
To find out more about The Raw Chocolate Company, visit the website here: http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com