Choc venture nears $1m
It offered the ultimate sweetener – discounted chocolate for life – and investors have responded by taking a bite out of the fledgling chocolate maker.
A PledgeMe campaign to buy the Dunedin-based Ocho chocolate factory is closing in on $1 million, after launching on Monday at 7am.
Dr Jim O’Malley, a former pharmaceutical executive and current Dunedin councillor, said he was not surprised by the interest. People liked chocolate and the idea of community ownership.
If that proved a success then Dunedin Manufacturing Holdings (DMH), which initially started to keep some Cadbury products in Dunedin, could use that ownership model as a template for other ventures in the future.
The focus was to grow the boutique premium chocolate-maker into a large-scale chocolate manufacturer. Ownership would be restricted to 11 per cent to keep the business in Dunedin.
‘‘Each share is worth $100 and all shareholders will have voting rights – and importantly each shareholder will be able to buy award-winning OchoCHO chocolate at a special shareholder price.
‘‘We will potentially have 4000 to 5000 owners of this company who will all be buying their own chocolate.’’
Ocho would be owned by a broad base of small investors across the country.