Jessica Spaulding’s Chocolate Factory Featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things List. Here’s How She Did It!

 

Jessica Spaulding is the creator of Harlem Chocolate Factory, a craft company she founded after quitting her job. She saw advertisements for the New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition and decided to take advantage of the chance. She established her business in 2018, but not without effort. She took a free business course and was awarded a $3,000 loan grant from Ascendus as well as a $15,000 grant from the New York Public Library. Start Small Think Big also provided her with free legal and accountancy services.

Opening her first storefront, according to Spaulding, was a game changer for her, albeit not without hurdles. “Opening the store provided us the opportunity to establish an immersive brand,” she explained to Forbes in an interview.

One of her major obstacles was placing her luxury chocolate in a market where people were used to paying for mass-produced chocolate at convenience stores.

Jessica Spaulding is the creator of Harlem Chocolate Factory, a craft company she founded after quitting her job. She saw advertisements for the New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition and decided to take advantage of the chance. She established her business in 2018, but not without effort. She took a free business course and was awarded a $3,000 loan grant from Ascendus as well as a $15,000 grant from the New York Public Library. Start Small Think Big also provided her with free legal and accountancy services.

Opening her first storefront, according to Spaulding, was a game changer for her, albeit not without hurdles. “Opening the store provided us the opportunity to establish an immersive brand,” she explained to Forbes in an interview.

One of her major obstacles was placing her luxury chocolate in a market where people were used to paying for mass-produced chocolate at convenience stores.

Her experience mirrors that of many African Americans who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. According to one statistic, the epidemic forced the closure of 40% of black companies, either temporarily or permanently.

“[As a result,] there was this hyperfocus on ways to support Black-owned businesses,” Spaulding said. She even got celebrity endorsements from Beyoncé and Oprah. And when her business began picking up again, the disruption in the supply chain and shipping due to covid, meeting online orders became a nightmare.

Nonetheless, she managed to keep her business afloat from grants. Her business even got featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things List.

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