Chocolate and Cycling – a perfect combination?
At Montezuma’s we are passionate about chocolate. Now that probably goes without saying but we also have many other passions and one of these is promoting a healthy lifestyle. It may seem odd for a business that produces a luxury food but actually that’s exactly the point. When you are involved in the food industry you learn a lot about the make up of a healthy lifestyle including nutrition and physical and mental wellbeing. We don’t expect our consumers to survive solely on Montezuma’s (although rest assured some of us have enjoyed trying!) and we recognise that our chocolate is rich and should be enjoyed mostly in moderation, maybe with the occasional blow-out. There are so many health benefits to good dark chocolate, throw in the feel good factor it produces and we might as well call it a health food! Our recently launched Absolute Black boasts no less than 100% cocoa (with all the associated health benefits) and no sugar so if that’s not a health food, we don’t know what is.
But a healthy lifestyle is not just about eating the right food. In these increasingly busy and stressful times, we encourage an active lifestyle in all our staff. We have sponsored our local Chichester Half Marathon for the last three years, a fantastic event which raises huge funds for one of our other passions, the brilliant charity Children on the Edge. We offer a cycle to work scheme to encourage our staff to get themselves a bike and sometimes we run a boot camp at Chocolate HQ. We even entered a team of ten runners into the ridiculous running and survival event Tough Mudder. It helps that Simon and I have always been passionate about all sport and even in the early days of establishing Montezuma’s, getting out for a run or a bike ride was really important to us, it’s amazing the ideas you have when you least expect them and clearing your mind on a run or ride can allow space for those ideas to develop. For us, it is therapy, strategy and activity rolled into one!
So for us, sport is a big part of leading a healthy lifestyle and naturally a big part of life at Montezuma’s. When our local bike retailer Hargroves Cycles approached us to ask if we would be interested in sponsoring their race team, we were immediately keen. Hargroves were also founded by a husband and wife team with a passion for their product. Now in its second generation, they are as passionate as ever about providing the best products in the industry with excellent customer service. They have had a very successful race team for many years and were looking for a new sponsor. There was not much debate before we decided that we would like to go for it with a couple of small provisos. That the race team provided a home for ambitious young cyclists as they reach the age of 16, a well-known drop out point for many young sportsperson and that it offers equal opportunities to girls and boys, providing girls in particular with role models to inspire them to continue racing competitively. Hargroves were very happy to oblige and we are now the proud sponsors of Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s race team. Within a couple of weeks of coming on board the race team became the British National cyclo-cross champions, securing plenty of television and magazine coverage in the process. So that should keep our marketing department happy too!