Salisbury chocolatier features on Dragon's Den

Salisbury chocolatier features on Dragon's Den

Published by Mike Draper at 4:30am 22nd September 2019.

Confectionery pioneer Stephen Conway is on the BBC's hit program on Sunday (22nd Sept).

  • Dragon's Den is on BBC2 tonight, Sunday 22nd September at 8pm
  • Filming took place in May
  • Stephen has been sworn to secrecy on the outcome until the show has aired

STEPHEN CONWAY'S CHOCOLATE STORY

In 2017 the local chocolatier created his low sugar, dairy free chocolate for his two daughter's Sophie who's 12 and Lucy who's 10.

It was in response to being unable to find a healthier chocolate brand that they could enjoy together.

A portrait photo of Stephen Conway stood smiling with arms folded. He will appear on the BBC's Dragon's Den show on Sunday 22nd September 2019.
Stephen Conway challenged himself to invent a low sugar chocolate that his kids would love.

Stephen explains more:

"My children are intolerant to sugar and dairy, and every Easter and Christmas was a complete struggle to keep them happy, so I decided to find a healthy chocolate alternative for them"

"However - having spent a fortune on various brands, my daughters rejected all of them.  They were either to dark, too bitter or had a strange texture."

"As a result, I set myself the challenge to invent a low sugar chocolate that my kids would love. It took me months to perfect the recipe and I had to consult with multiple chocolatiers and chefs to work out the secret combination, but we got there"

READ MORE - THE MAGIC RECIPE

The months of recipe trials eventually resulted in that "Ah-hah" moment that many Dragon's Den entrepreneurs experience.

Stephen described his children's reaction:

"My kids were jumping for joy when they first tasted it and the recipe quickly became a huge hit with school friends and their parents."

"I took 400 bars to the Christmas Fair hoping to sell 100 and sold out within 2 hours. It was at this moment that I realised I had a potential global business."

Salisbury chocolatier Stephen Conway.
Stephen originally refused to go on Dragon's Den but friends badgered him into applying for it.

THE SUCCESSES AND THE MELT-DOWNS

Stephen launched in February 2018 on Facebook, and the chocolate soon became a viral hit with the company turning over half a million pounds in its first year:

"We had so many manufacturing issues in the first year that I had multiple melt-downs and we nearly went bankrupt on more than one occasion. Fortunately, our customers and suppliers kept faith with us through those dark days and we managed to turn it around"

MORE TASTE TESTING

PURE HEAVENLY ON DRAGON'S DEN

The idea to appear on Dragon's Den came after so many people told him to apply. He originally refused to go on the show but after being badgered over 30 times by different people (and after a few glasses of red wine) Conway picked up the courage to apply.

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