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.

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