‘My wife and I really wanted to open a chocolaterie in a small village. People said we must be mad: how could there possibly be enough interest in a place with just 1500 inhabitants? But where there’s a will, there’s a way and, 24 years later, we’re still here!’
The small outlet gets through around eleven thousand kilos of chocolate per year. Peter and his team can turn their hands to anything you could imagine: champagne bottles, boats, tool boxes and even a large sporting stadium have been made out of chocolate over the years. Peter Schaper could talk for hours about his all-consuming passion: chocolate!
However, two years ago he decided to make a sea change. The chocolaterie was expanded to include a patisserie, a dream held by his son Luuk. Once Luuk had successfully completed his training, the chocolaterie was given a remodelling, creating space to realise this dream.
With two businesses, a chocolaterie and a patisserie, the quantity of raw materials doubled too. So extra funding was required. Thanks to the raw materials, production is in full swing. ‘I was never worried about making enough sales to repay the loan. We recently paid our last instalment, so that means we no longer owe anything.’
The chocolatier thought the application process was very easy. After an informal meeting, the chocolaterie had to provide figures, and once the credit check had been completed, the money was in their account within five business days. ‘I saw an ad for Swishfund in the bakers’ trade journal, which piqued my interest. It has given us great peace of mind. I could just get on with creating products, without being completely dependent on suppliers’ payments.’