The Recipe For a Successful Business


Like any good bar of chocolate, a great business boils down to the quality of what goes into it. One company that knows this all too well is the Wellington Chocolate Factory.

Wellington Chocolate Factory Easter

MOTIF started working with Wellington Chocolate Factory (WCF) in 2014, not long after it was founded by fair trade coffee and chocolate entrepreneur, Gabe Davidson and Rochelle Harrison. At this time, WCF was just a seedling, with Gabe looking at ways of collaborating with farmers in Bougainville and beyond to bring artisan, ethically produced chocolate into the hands of Wellingtonians.

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Gabe with the cocoa farmers of the Solomons Islands.

Gabe with the cocoa farmers of the Solomons Islands.

Gabe had the passion, tenacity and hard-earned experience to produce great chocolate; what he didn’t have was the business structure that would nurture WCF and help it grow.

“MOTIF laid really good foundations. Prior to meeting them, I’d never had any formal business training.” says Gabe. “I left school at 15, managed to create a few successful coffee businesses by learning as I went along, but it was all very ad hoc. The Wellington Chocolate Factory has been different because MOTIF have given me a strong understanding of organisation and governance in business.”

Wellington Chocolate Factory Salted Caramel with MOTIF

Gabe knew that the ingredients in his business were as important as the beans in his chocolate, so he invited MOTIF on board and the partnership was born.

“The practical areas they’ve helped with have been fantastic. MOTIF migrated us over to their drive folder system, which is amazingly logical and efficient. They’ve helped us with HR processes, locked us in with a great accountancy firm and sorted out our administration and inventory systems so that it all works like clockwork.”

While refining the nuts and bolts of the business did wonders for WCF, Gabe thinks they really started to mature as a business when they created a board of directors.

“I had various advisors and mentors who helped me on a pro-bono basis. But MOTIF helped me identify the key people in similar industries who would be really useful to have involved in an official capacity. I think the creation of our directors board was really pivotal in us growing up as a business.”

As WCF have grown as a company, so have their prospects. Gabe - a classic entrepreneur with bags of passion and energy for what he does - believes business structure was the thing missing from his recipe.

“The opportunity for us to become a lot more profitable has increased ten-fold because of MOTIF.” says Gabe. “They’ve revolutionised the business and allowed us to become a serious company. Without their support and wisdom, I couldn't guarantee we’d be where we are - on the verge of this next exciting phase of growth. As a business owner on the rollercoaster journey that is entrepreneurialism - which I wouldn’t change for the world - the influence the guys at MOTIF have had on me has been invaluable.”

Wellington Chocolate Factory has recently signed a deal with a major retailer. Watch this space for where their journey takes them next.

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At MOTIF we drive revenue and profitability with strategies that are good for people and the planet.

We integrate social and environmental development goals into businesses in ways that gain competitive advantage, market growth and drive innovation. We work with leaders of ambitious companies who are looking to make well-informed strategic decisions that have a positive global impact.

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Learn more about the Wellington Chocolate Factory here

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