As a small business owner, I know how important and difficult it can be to compete with the big corporations of the world. That’s why when it came to Christmas last year, I made the decision to do all of my festive shopping with as much small business as possible. And you know what, it was great fun finding all of these incredible small businesses across Scotland. I loved that I was able to find gifts for my loved ones that were unique and not something you could just pick up off a shelf in a supermarket. Knowing that these gifts were also helping out small businesses and growing local economies felt good too. But it’s still a continuous struggle for small businesses to compete against the huge international corporations. So I’ve decided to start this new blog series titled ‘Scottish Spotlight’ – a series of blogs where I interview small Scottish business owners. First up in the ‘Scottish Spotlight’ series is ‘Green Loch Chocolates’, a chocolatier based in Fife.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
My name is Rebecca Wilson and my business is called Green Loch Chocolates. I make and sell luxury, handmade chocolates with flavours inspired by Scotland’s wild places. I have been trading for just over 4 months but my love of chocolate making and my recipe ideas have been something that I’ve been developing for a number of years.
How did you start your business? Why chocolate?
I’ve yearned to establish my own chocolate business for years, and after choosing to take voluntary redundancy from my career, I decided the time was right to follow my dream.
How do you come up with your flavours?
I’ve always been interested in the way our senses of taste and smell can be really strong triggers for memory and emotions. I love chocolate and I also love the incredible beauty of the Scottish landscape. The flavour combinations in my Scottish Sensations chocolates are designed to invoke thoughts of specific moments or scenes from our beautiful country. Such as the high, clear sound of the skylark, the smell of gorse flowers on a warm summers day or the taste of sea salt in the air as you walk along a white sand beach on a windy day.
What’s it like being a small business in Scotland?
As a small business in Scotland I’ve been blown away by how supportive people have been of my ideas and business. My local Business Gateway were a brilliant source of excellent – and also free! – advice and support. I’d recommend them to anyone looking to set up their own business. I trade at farmers and producers markets and all the other traders I have met have been so supportive and have taught me a huge amount about running a successful market stall. I’ve also discovered that there are hundreds of amazing, creative small businesses out there making incredible, high quality items. I really would recommend your readers check out their local farmers and craft markets to find these local gems, or check out the Shop Scotland website which provides an online market place for a fantastic range of Scottish small businesses.
Social media has been a really simple and incredibly effective way to connect with my customers. I really had no clue about social media before I set up Green Loch Chocolates, but now I’m such a convert. It’s incredible the way social media enables you to get your message out to people everywhere.
What are your plans for the future?
Whilst I’m a small Scottish based business, thanks to the power of the internet, I’ve already had international interest in my chocolates and over the coming year I’ll be looking into how I can start selling overseas.
A big thank you to Rebecca from Green Loch Chocolates for taking the time to take part in the very first ‘Scottish Spotlight’. I have ordered from Green Loch Chocolates in the past and it was absolutely delicious. So if you’re looking for something a little bit different then check them out.