Company founder wins award
Helen Pattinson, co-founder and director of Montezuma’s Chocolates, has won a national business award – the everywoman Athena Award – sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions – for female business owners aged 36 to 49.
Having given up her job as a City solicitor and founded the company in 2000 with her husband, Helen has since grown the company to a £6m turnover through multi-channel sales.
A year-long trip around South America was the catalyst for Helen to start creating chocolate made from cocoa farmed sustainably on small family farms. However, its success has not been without its pitfalls and in the early days Helen was forced to make the chocolate herself when her appointed manufacturer closed down with no notice, while in 2008 poor weather meant such an excess of stock that the business nearly folded.
The former was the making of the brand, as Helen grasped the opportunity to make the product herself. Montezuma’s is committed to sustainable growth and has created its own trading fairly policy to incorporate ethical dealing with growers, suppliers, customers and staff.