NOTE: Kickstarter is an all or nothing method of fundraising. If we don't meet out target then we get nothing and no funds are taken.
UPDATE: 22/01/13 - We have added a few last minute chocolate awards for anyone out there who maybe hasn't already tried our chocolate. We hope that you enjoy them.
WHO ARE WE?
Hi. We are Mike and Andrea Jessop and in August 2010 we launched Moo Free chocolates. We desperately need your help so that we can buy new machines to keep up with growing demand for our chocolates.
WHAT DO WE DO?
Moo Free is a manufacturer of dairy free chocolates that tastes just like quality milk chocolate. We came up with the idea in 2007 when we discovered that 25 years after the birth of our lactose intolerant son, still no-one was making a dairy free, milk chocolate Easter egg for parents in the same position. In 2008 we took the big plunge and began developing our chocolate and funded the initial machinery and ingredients by re-mortgaging our house. We also knew nothing about making chocolate, so had to learn that at the same time.
By early 2010 demand for our “test” chocolates had increased way beyond what we could make using our little machines. So, we had a big decision to make. We both sat around the dinner table for several hours debating what we could do in order to meet the demand. Heavily influenced by all of the e-mails of thanks that we were receiving and remembering what it was like for our own child we knew that we had to grow. We were going to need much bigger machines, staff and probably even a factory. But how?
Well, there was only one option. We re-mortgaged our house again to the limit of what we could borrow and that is how Moo Free began.
WHY DO WE NEED YOUR HELP?
Everything was going well (apart from all the extra grey hairs and very late nights), until now. Demand for our chocolate has stretched way beyond the machines that we currently have. In February 2012 we started approaching the banks in order to obtain a loan for new, bigger machines. We knew we would require these machines by August 2012. Sure enough we do need these machines. Unfortunately, we still also need the money to buy them as the banks just aren't interested.
"I see that you are seeking finance under the EFG scheme however we already have a number of loans secured under the scheme and I’m afraid that we are not currently looking to expand on this." - Triodos Bank, 15 March 2012 (one of many such responses)
We have managed to take out a personal loan for one of the machines. But we still desperately need your help to fund two more. To thank you we have created several unique rewards.
Please help us to continue. Many little chocolate covered faces depend on you. Remember that Kickstarter is an all or nothing method of raising funds. If we do not raise at least the target amount then we receive nothing.
Mike & Andrea Jessop
MORE ABOUT OUR CHOCOLATE
So what's the secret? How do you make something that tastes just like a quality milk chocolate but without using any milk? Well, as Hammy knows you spend two years and find plenty of volunteers who are willing to eat lots of chocolate samples. Oh, and use rice milk rather than cows milk.
The first chocolate product that we made were dairy free Easter eggs. 80 to be precise. We made them using a small, table top tempering machine which took about 2 hours to temper (prepare) around 4kg of chocolate. It then took us about 1 week to make 80 Easter egg.
We now make several more products including Advent calendars, chocolate bars, bags of chocolate drops and our Mini Moo range. You can find out more about our current chocolate range on our website at http://www.moofreechocolates.com/dairy-free-chocolate/products. There is also a picture of some of them below.
Everybody loves our chocolates and over the past year our chocolates have also won lots of awards. We've listed some of them below.
Vegfest Awards 2012 &
2011: Best Vegan Chocolate
FreeFrom Awards: Innovation Award
FreeFrom Awards: Chocolate Bar Award
FreeFrom Awards: Christmas Food Award
Cosmopolitan: Best Dairy Free Easter
Channel 4: Top 10 Dairy Free Foods
BBC Good Food: Top 10 Chocolate Gifts
Sunday Times: 20 Best Easter Eggs
So, who is Hammy Hamster? Well, Hammy Hamster owns the chocolate factory and is married to Mikey Bunny. They employ lots of other Moo Free friends to help them make the chocolates. These include Rosie Rabbit, Kitty Cakes and Margery Mouse. You can find out about all of our characters online at http://www.moofreechocolates.com/dairy-free-chocolate/about/employees.php.
Each of our characters is very important and special to us. Everyone of them contributes to our story and works in the Moo Free factory. That's because every loyal and hard working member of staff is given a character and their story is added to our website. Their character also ultimately appears on one of our products. This is something staff really look forward to. They also make our brand colourful and fun.
As one of the rewards for helping us we would like to offer you the chance to become a character.
Moo Free has been running for two years already. We have overcome pretty much any problem that you could think of. There will undoubtedly be problems with the machines but be assured that we will resolve them very quickly. One of the main skills of our team now is problem solving.
The main issue that we face is that the machines are made to order and this will take 3 months. In addition, any large machine is often not delivered on time. The way that we plan for this is that we expect the machines to be late. If they are delivered on time, will that's just a bonus.
LIMITED EDITION PRALINES: A limited edition, luxury box of 24 award winning Moo Free pralines, a unique Hammy Hamster keyring and a "Sleep all day eat Moo Free all night" thank you print from Hammy Hamster (7" x 5").
LIMITED EDITION VALENTINES GIFT: A limited edition, valentines day heart shaped box of award winning Moo Free chocolate pralines complete with a print and short "romantic" poem by Mikey Bunny.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that Mikey Bunny's definition of "romantic" may not exactly reflect the traditional definition of the word. He is a Bunny after all and they don't exactly think like we do. He is also not very good at grammar.
CHOCOLATE MAKING KIT: A unique Hammy Hamster chocolate making kit which will enable you to make your own Moo Free chocolates at home. The kit will comprise of moulds, couverture (used to make the chocolate) and full instructions. You will also require a microwave, a bowl and a spoon (not included).
WARNING: Eating over 1kg of delicious Moo Free chocolate all at once may make you feel a bit queasy.
FACTORY TOUR: A unique tour of the Moo Free factory for up to 4 people. Take an informative walk around the factory and learn all about the history of Moo Free and how we make our delicious dairy free chocolates. The visit will also include plenty of Moo Free chocolates to eat on the day and to take away.
PLEASE NOTE: The factory is based in Reading, England. You will be responsible for travelling to the Moo Free factory for the tour.
VIP STAFF PARTY TICKETS & TOUR: Get yourself 2 x VIP tickets for the Moo Free staff Easter party. Party with the Moo Free staff and dance into the night at the factory with Hammy and her friends. Food, drink, entertainment and plenty of chocolate will be provided (you will need to bring your own dancing shoes).
In addition, while you are with us we will also give you both a unique FACTORY TOUR as above.
PLEASE NOTE: The factory is based in Reading, England. You will be responsible for travelling to the Moo Free factory and for booking accommodation if required. The staff party is an after work, evening party so please be prepared to stay up late.
LIMITED EDITION CHOCOLATE MAKING EXPERIENCE: A unique chocolate making experience for two people. Learn all about the factory, its machines and how Moo Free make their chocolates. Then get to use these machines yourselves to make your own chocolates and discover which of you can make the best (or alternatively make the least mess).
We will also give you both VIP STAFF PARTY TICKETS for the Moo Free staff Easter party in the evening (as described above).
BECOME A CHARACTER: Moo Free characters are very special and are only normally awarded to the most dedicated staff. However, for helping us so much we will create a unique character just for you. Your character will appear on our website along with a personalised character description all about you (see our staff page for examples). Your character will also be appearing on a new Moo Free product when it is developed. As well as all this we will also give you a LIMITED EDITION CHOCOLATE MAKING EXPERIENCE for two people as described above.