“Unhappy is an understatement,” described Sofia who was laid off from her job at a global oil and fuel firm final 12 months. Worldwide lockdowns to curb the unfold of COVID-19 had brought about a downturn in calls for for oil, which led to Sofia’s destiny as a former Discipline Engineer.
“I used to be dedicated to my work and spent longer days working (even on weekends) somewhat than spending time at residence. For somebody who was profession oriented, it was not simple to face the fact of being unemployed,” she added.
Behind her thoughts although, the 27-year-old all the time knew that fieldwork wasn’t for her. Regardless of working a STEM graduate’s dream job, the solar’s scorching warmth and the laborious duties of dealing with 60-inch sledgehammers turned an excessive amount of for her.
Now unemployed with some downtime to replicate, she concluded that shedding her job was probably a blessing, because it was the one method she noticed out of fieldwork. On the similar time, Sofia had been born into an entrepreneurial household, so she believed that that beginning a enterprise was an eventuality for her.
With a brand new perspective on life, Sofia realised that she may flip an previous interest of hers right into a confectionary enterprise. Pooling her and her husband’s financial savings of RM3,000 collectively, Cocoa Bells was launched in February 2021.
From Scorching Warmth To Frozen Fingers
The identify was taken from cocoa beans and her favorite place on earth, Maroon Bells in Aspen, USA the place she studied, when Sofia would typically make chocolate bombs to get pleasure from throughout the chilly winters. The thought to commercialise her interest simply made sense, as she wished to deliver the thrill of getting scorching chocolate to Malaysians.
Earlier than she launched the enterprise although, Sofia wished to make them extra presentable, with a shock on the within when melted in scorching milk, like a shower bomb. Along with her sister, who Sofia credited as her largest supporter, they spent over 2 months on R&D to find out the absolute best substances and ratios to create the merchandise.
Tempered chocolate can be tough to make in Malaysia’s scorching and humid local weather. To get its crisp, easy, and shiny end, moulding the chocolate is extremely depending on its surrounding temperature and have to be formed rapidly earlier than it hardens.
Sofia informed Vulcan Publish that previous to putting in an air conditioner in her kitchen, she would submerge her fingers in an ice tub previous to assembling the chocolate bombs. This was to keep away from any finger or glove prints that might be marked on the chocolate shell.
A Social gathering Beverage
All of Sofia’s labour probably paid off too, because the bombs made for a easy and nice scorching chocolate-making expertise for shoppers. Earlier than the current MCO, my colleagues’ tried Sofia’s confectionaries and shared that their unanimous favorite was So Mocha Love.
Style-wise, the group discovered a number of the flavours a bit of too candy for his or her liking as a result of they made every cup with much less milk for higher Instagram pictures. Making it with a fuller glass of scorching milk offers the flavour and sweetness extra steadiness, we discovered after a second buy that didn’t require any photos for the ‘gram. As soon as submerged in scorching milk, it was a captivating sight to look at marshmallows escape of their chocolate shell.
These would do nicely with children, or as a enjoyable addition to shock mates and at events. And, the celebration market can be consistent with Sofia’s buyer base.
Since Cocoa Bells was launched near Valentine’s Day, its founder reported that the response was overwhelmingly optimistic. “Folks have been shopping for chocolate bombs for wives, companions, mates, and household. We have been fortunate to seek out our common prospects who saved supporting us till now,” she recalled.
It’s additionally value noting that Cocoa Bells isn’t the one chocolate bomb producer in Malaysia as manufacturers like Choco Bomb and Coco Raw provide their very own variations of it. The place Sofia’s enterprise stands out although, is in her lower cost factors. Cocoa Bells’ field of 4 is RM32 (with out promotions), whereas her rivals promote theirs above RM50.
To this point, Cocoa Bells has bought greater than 2,000 of its chocolate bombs to prospects within the Klang Valley. Sofia hopes to someday automate her chocolate bomb manufacturing to cater to bigger quantity orders as she finds making them by hand limiting to the enterprise’s potential.
Not Wanting Again
There’s no query that being an entrepreneur and worker are vastly completely different. Being the latter, there’s the peace of mind of figuring out that your wage shall be deposited in your checking account by the tip of the month. “As an entrepreneur, some days could also be a bit gloomy and that’s the threat that we have now to be prepared for. Nothing comes simple and also you simply should have religion,” suggested Sofia, who shared that she’s a lot happier operating Cocoa Bells now.
And she or he has no plans returning to the oil and fuel business both.
After the downturn, I used to be referred to as again to affix my firm and I’ve determined to proceed with Cocoa Bells. I really like the challenges and pleasure that the sphere provides however nothing beats the sensation of seeing my very own mother and father and household every single day and rising previous with them.
Sofia, founding father of Cocoa Bells.
- You may study extra about Cocoa Bells here.
- You may learn extra Malaysian startups we’ve lined here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Sofia, founding father of Cocoa Bells