how it all started
We started Montezuma's, our little chocolate business, in 2000 with only a kitchen sink sized machine, huge enthusiasm, spades of naivety and most importantly, a broad ideal to bring chocolate innovation to a boring and staid British chocolate market. With the exception of that first machine, little has changed and the childish enthusiasm we shared exploring South America in 1999 largely wakes up with us every morning!
Being lawyers turned self-taught chocolate makers has meant steep learning curves and often re-inventing the wheel but everything we do is carried out with a passion for creating chocolate we want to eat in an environment we enjoy. What we certainly didn't train for or indeed expect in our wildest dreams was that a business started on a shoestring would become arguably Britain's most innovative chocolate brand with a reputation far bigger than our actual footprint!
Long before we started Montezuma’s, we had already dreamt up the ideals we would run our own business with, should we ever have that privilege! These ideals became a reality and have stayed with us since the day we started. Over the years, some of the words may have slightly changed but we have never budged on our own principles, which we called Trading Fairly.
We are very proud of our products where substance wins over style, and of our business where sustainable and organic business growth wins over greed.
We asked our resident artist, Amy (also to be found helping customers with their chocolate purchases in our Chichester store) to create a board to hang in Chocolate HQ, demonstrating our Purpose, Vision and Values and we think she did it rather well …
For a long time, it has been our dream to become Britain’s Greatest Little Chocolate company. By this we mean that everyone should be able to enjoy Montezuma’s chocolate so we should be available wherever you feel the need for chocolate! But we also treasure our entrepreneurial, values-led approach to business, encompassing short lines of communication inside and outside the business, accountability, independence and family values. Just because we’re growing doesn’t mean we can’t hold on to these, in reality it means we hold on to them even tighter! As part of our trading fairly policy we ensure that our staff, customers, communities we touch, and the environment are considered as part of our decision-making process.
Helen Pattinson Co-founder with husband Simon