· By True Moringa
Ghana Startup Series: A Conversation with the Founders of '57 Chocolate
We sat down with Kimberly and Pricilla, co-founders of '57 Chocolate to learn how they're bringing a new industry to Ghana and making some tasty treats in the process.
Tell us a bit about your brand mission and vision - what motivated you to start your brand?
Cocoa is the major cash crop of Ghana and one of the most important commodities in the country’s economy. It’s a major foreign exchange earner for the country. Ghana is also the second largest producer of cocoa in the world, but very little value is added to the bean itself locally by way of processing into semi-finished or finished products. The majority of Ghana’s cocoa beans are exported in its raw form to other countries to be processed and then imported back as finished cocoa products
We started ‘57 Chocolate with the intention of adding value to the cocoa bean—right here at home in Ghana. We are on a mission to revive Ghana’s cocoa industry by creating and building a uniquely African, global chocolate brand. We would like Ghana to be known not only for its cocoa beans, but for its high-quality chocolate.
What's your personal selfcare or beauty routine?
Co-Founder Kimberly stays fit by exercising in the morning before work. She exfoliates her skin with sugar, honey and sometimes lime; a more natural and economical alternative to buying face wash from the cosmetics aisle. Co-founder Priscilla opts for exercising after work. Her routine includes a 30-minute run, followed by weight lifting and jumping rope. Every now and then, she enjoys a bubble bath to relax with 90s RnB slow jams playing in the background.
Any funny stories to share from your early startup days?
One of our favorite times is Valentine’s Day. The number of husbands/boyfriends/men in general scrambling at the very last hour to get ‘57 Chocolate to the women in their lives that they love is pretty funny. It’s always such a sweet gesture on their part, but we now definitely associate Valentine’s Day with men panicking and rushing at the 11th hour.
What's one thing people might not know about you?
We love to dance! Kimberly loves salsa dancing and competed in a dance competition during her time abroad in Strasbourg, France. Her dance routine was the “crowd favoritie.” Priscilla used to be part of a Bollywood dance team in college.
What's next for '57 Chocolate?
We are working toward having our chocolate sold across the continent of Africa and around the globe. We want to maintain a brand that continues to reflect and build upon the unique traditions and culture of Ghanaians and Africans at large. We hope that ‘57 Chocolate inspires people from Ghana, and across the continent especially the youth, to create, develop, and consume made in Africa products.
What specific advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Since we are co-founders and there are two of us leading the growth of this business, we always recommend having a business partner. We’ve seen the benefit of having two leaders oversee this initiative because there is always someone around to share the workload—and of course the challenges and successes. Additionally, we each have different strengths and skills that complement each other which allow us to focus on certain aspects of the business.
Follow the '57 Chocolate journey on instagram