Troffle also produces vegan-friendly and gluten-free chocolates

Handmade chocolate start-up Troffle has launched a crowdfunding campaign on KickStarter to raise £20,000 to help the business expand.

The family-run chocolate maker, which began life on a stall in London’s Brockley food market four years’ ago, grows as many of the ingredients for its products as possible at its headquarters in Wiltshire.

Troffle, which delivers its products direct to consumers, plans to use to the money from the campaign to grow its team of staff and invest in more kit for growing ingredients, including raised beds, polytunnels, seeds, trowels, and a greenhouse.

The business uses single-origin chocolate, sourced from Tanzania, in all its recipes, paired with a variety of flavours from raw ingredients that are either grown at home or sourced from longstanding suppliers. The cream for all its chocolate also comes from the Jersey cows in the neighbouring farm.

“We want to do more,” founder Chris Bloor said. “We want to grow more ingredients at home and that means more equipment. And we need a bigger team of people to be able to fulfil greater numbers of orders. We can’t invest without the support of our fans so we’ve launched the Kickstarter to help us get there.”

Kickstarter campaigns are different from the equity crowdfunding model of platforms such as Crowdcube and Seedrs, with pitches giving away rewards rather than a stake for cash invested.

Troffle is giving away selection boxes of chocolate, a year’s supply of chocolate and wedding favours depending on the amount pledged by investors.

“We don’t use essences, oils or any preservatives [in our chocolate],” Bloor added. “No nasties. We work really hard on that. But we can’t grow the business without having more space and the right equipment to grow more ingredients here in the UK.

“Obviously we can’t get everything from home. But we want to be able to grow as much as we can on our own doorstep and help bring employment to the local area. That’s what this campaign is all about.”

The Kickstarter campaign is live until 18 May.