Sweet Virtues are the UK’s first superfood chocolate truffles and we can’t get enough of them. Founder, Carey Davis-Munro, sits down with us to talk about setting up and launching her guilt-free products, which are now stocked in Daylesford and at NotOnTheHighStreet.com.
Can you introduce us to Sweet Virtues – what makes your products special, when did you launch and where are you stocked?
We launched in November 2014 having worked on the concept and product for three years prior to that and learned some invaluable lessons. We launched the UK’s first superfood chocolate truffles, which we have had tested to verify the nutrient profile. We can therefore boast they are high in magnesium, B vitamins, Vitamin E, Pantothenic acid, Zinc and more.
All our products will always be sugar-free, dairy- and gluten-free. We are also passionate about the presentation of our products and ensuring they offer a unique proposition. We should all be treating ourselves to the very best in food all the time and optimising our nutrition, but it is not about self-denial in any way. Our packaging conveys this message.
What was your motivation for launching the company, and was there a key moment in which you decided it was finally the right time?
I wanted to produce food, snacks and treats for my three children that I was happy with in respect of the nutrition but could not find something that hit the target on taste, overall experience and nutrient content. I had worked with Ocado to provide content for the Healthy Recipe section of their website when they first launched, and run my own food clinics.
We should all be treating ourselves to the very best in food all the time and optimising our nutrition, but it is not about self-denial in any way. Our packaging conveys this message.
Having produced my truffles over Easter for a clinic on raising serotonin, I was asked to sell them to friends and the idea took off. That was some five years ago. At that point, I did not feel the market was ready or the time was right, but in 2014 the health sector was just taking off. There is a plethora of people launching healthier food businesses and there is a much greater awareness of the health issues we are facing and the need for us to be more conscious of what we are eating.
How does your background feed into the development and expansion of your business, and how crucial would you say it is to have such experience prior to setting up a company in the health/wellbeing sector?
My background is aligned to my business. Having played high-level competitive sport well into my twenties, I became a fitness instructor and then a PE teacher. I have also worked in HR but my focus was on wellbeing at work and the learning and development in this sphere. This led me to do a nutrition course from the Institute of Optimum Nutrition. Ultimately though, it was my passion for food, cooking and wellbeing that initiated the path I am on today with the business. I am not sure a background like this is crucial. People have their own reasons for starting a business but there must be a deep, ingrained passion in what you are doing and not simply a business idea. You will live, eat and breathe the business so the more you know about the area, the better. The passion and belief is everything.
People have their own reasons for starting a business but there must be a deep, ingrained passion in what you are doing and not simply a business idea. You will live, eat and breathe the business
Your packaging and website design is very distinct and beautiful. How did you go about establishing your brand aesthetic, settling on the final designs, and creating the various elements?
I knew the message we wanted to convey was that healthy can be indulgent in every way. Eating better food is more special, more of a treat and not in any way second best or self-denial. Our packaging says ‘special’ but also natural, which is what we are all about; the best raw ingredients and the best flavour combinations in unique, beautifully presented products.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs looking to launch a healthier good-for-you food product?
Test the idea, test the concept, speak to buyers, attend events in the industry, know your market, make sure your passion and knowledge is real and not just a ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ idea, and go for it.