We were savaged on BBC’S Dragons’ Den for our chocolate business…now it’s worth £1million & Prince Charles is a fan

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Chocolate shop owner who was devastated at Dragon’s Den has managed to turn his business into a £1 million success story.

Paul Madden and James Findlay beat the odds after dressing down on the hit of their firm Cocoa Mountain BBC Entrepreneur Show.

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Cocoa Mountain owners Paul Madden and James Findlay turn things around despite Dragon’s Den being vandalizedcredit: BBC
After Paul and James were rejected on the show, more than 80 investors approached them

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After Paul and James were rejected on the show, more than 80 investors approached them
Business With Celebs Has Been Hit With A Fan Of Prince Charles

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Business With Celebs Has Been Hit With A Fan Of Prince Charlescredit: Cocoa Mountain

business was ridiculed Dragon’s Den tycoons who branded it as a place for “hippies”.

But the knowledgeable Scottish owners didn’t give up and tasted sweet success only with a turnover of less than £1 million.

The chocolate shop is located in Sutherland, the most northwestern village on the mainland UK.

His confectionery has proved to be a hit with many famous faces including former England cricketer Ian Botham, former Rangers boss Ellie McCoist and actress Juliette Stevenson.

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and also prince charles Shahi, reportedly wants to wed his whiskey Barrogille with truffles produced by Cocoa Mountain for sale through his May Selection brand.

But the company actually turned Charles down because he was asked to add preservatives.

The two are working round the clock, seven days a week, to meet online sales of truffles with orders to the US, Canada, Australia, Dubai and even Switzerland, where the chocolate is home.

Demand is also stagnant for their hot chocolate drink which is rejected by Dragon and the entrepreneurs have an outlet in Dornoch, Sutherland and a factory in Perth.

However, the remote location combined with Brexit and Covid meant that Paul and James’ dream was almost doomed.

Problems attracting workers to the forest have led to the temporary closure of Cocoa Mountain.

After opening for the season in April, all three employees were overwhelmed by demand for the busy North Coast 500 route.

Paul said: “We had to shut down in May, we didn’t have enough staff to cope.

“We are really disappointed but we need ten people to fully open. We have become a victim of our own success. We can potentially open in July with three people but that would just be selling chocolate bars etc. – No drink or food.

“Brexit has without a doubt caused recruitment difficulties and it is far from here. There is not enough local pool of staff.”

James said they pay £12.50 an hour and offer “good accommodation” – staff pay £50 a week for broadband, council tax and running costs.

And just as importantly: “We expect our employees to taste chocolate – they need to know the products. It’s a dream job rather than a dream place. It’s a fast-paced environment, but appeals to students and those who don’t. who are in a gap year.” Told.

The owners did not manage to secure an investment of £80,000 for a 15 percent stake on Dragons Den when he appeared on the show in August 2015.

And to add insult to injury, the dragons described their location as a “satanic” place to do business.

However, after Paul and James appeared on the show, more than 80 potential investors approached them.

“It got to the level where I put myself down heathrow Interview them for three days, one by one,” Paul said.

“A guy wanted to give us £100,000 a year just to use the name Cocoa Mountain.

“But in the end we decided to do things ourselves – no investor was going to share our passion for the product or increase its value.”

Cocoa Mountain was founded by two Scottish university graduates after they purchased an old Sergeant’s Mess, part of an old RAF Cold War camp that had not been occupied for 12 years.

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This comes after the Dragon’s Den tycoon refused to invest in a “fat-shaming” brand, which is Now worth £5 million,

and a businessman who defied dragons Turning down £75k investment He has one last laugh because he now owns a six-figure tech firm.

The two's views on Dragon's Den were not met with enthusiasm, but they managed to beat the odds.

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The two’s views on Dragon’s Den were not met with enthusiasm, but they managed to beat the odds.credit: BBC
Paul and James

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Paul and Jamescredit: Instagram
Ten jobs with housing ready to catch on at Cocoa Mountain

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Ten jobs with housing ready to catch on at Cocoa Mountaincredit: Not Known, Clear with picture desk



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