She beat the pandemic woes by growing her cocoa business digitally by 30%.
I once had a delicious chocolate from Switzerland and when I tried to know more about the history of that chocolate, I found out that the cocoa in it came from Indonesia. Imagine my surprise. The markets of my country, which produce some of the best cocoa in the world, were completely flooded with imported chocolate.
She wanted everyone to savor the delicious taste of Indonesian chocolate.
I decided then and there to introduce Indonesia to its own fine cocoa. And in 2013, along with my brother, I created Pipiltin Cocoa with products like chocolate bars and chocolate milk made from single origin cocoa.
We were fully committed to sourcing cocoa ethically from smallholder farmers at a rate higher than the market prices. We work closely with the farmers to support the sustainability of cocoa farming. We had some stores and our business was doing well.
The lockdown stopped the flow of customers. She had to shut down her stores and even let some employees go.
But suddenly the whole world came to a stop due to the pandemic. And so did we. Business saw a 70% decline in sales. Some of our stores had to be shut down. And the worst thing was that I had to let go of some employees. It was a hard, hard time.
I wasted no time in going online. The Facebook family of apps helped greatly with product awareness and customer engagement. Things started looking up, and soon, my sales went up by 30%.
She fought back with a digital presence and business was sweet again.
30% more than the pre-pandemic sales. Imagine that. You never really know how things will work out till you try them. I share my success with the fabulous cocoa from my country and with the diligent farmers whom I train in new methods of sustainability consistently. And now, with social media too.