Eat Chic began in the UK before migrating to NYC where Lotta Andonian has created a cult following for her twist on an American fave: the peanut butter cup.
Who Is Eat Chic?
Reese’s peanut butter cups (especially the holiday eggs and the trees, holler!) are my favorite candies of all time. That is, until I tried one of Lotta Andonian’s Eat Chic chocolates. OMG, you guys. They are so good. Like Reese’s on steroids, or rather, Ritalin. More refined with grown-up touches like Maldon sea salt and fresh ground nut butters that go beyond peanut: almond, hazelnut, cashew. Lotta says she’s got 30 flavors on rotation at any time, and each one is a special piece of magic. My latest craving is for her pumpkin spice dark chocolate. #swoon
Lotta was inspired to make peanut butter cups when she was working in London because her co-worker couldn’t stop raving about Reese’s, a new appearance at the corner shop under their office. She tried her hand at making better ingredient, homemade cups and the office went wild. Eat Chic was officially born.
Lotta built up a solid clientele in London that included some wholesale heavyweights, but eventually made the tough decision to re-launch her company stateside. She says it’s been more fun to play with flavors in the US where peanut butter cups are second nature as opposed to the UK where she had to beg people to give them a try. (Sidebar: what is going on Europe?! Peanut butter cups are basically god’s gift to humans. Get on board!)
“There’s a lot of romanticism in having your own business, and it’s really difficult. My boyfriend would never put himself through what I’ve been putting myself through.” – Lotta Andonian, founder of Eat Chic Chocolates, on entrepreneurship
So, what’d we talk about?
In this episode, I talk to Lotta about the decision to move her company across the Atlantic, why pop-ups are a great way to test out a concept and the differences in the US/UK markets. She also gives me a crash course on tempering chocolate, some advice for building a social media following fast and the resources that helped her get going.
Show notes [times are approximate]:
How Eat Chic got started [4:57]
Learning to temper chocolate [10:37]
Deviations from original recipe [16:07]
Coming up with new flavors [17:37]
Moving the company from London to NY [22:30]
Differences between US and UK market [26:35]
Are popups a good way to get started? [31:04]
Questions to ask to qualify markets [35:07]
Advice for social media [39:45]
Business partnerships and collaborations [42:09]
Sacrifices to become an entrepreneur [46:15]
Leaving full-time job [49:50]
Resources and advice [51:15]
Resources mentioned on the show*:
Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner by Peter P. Greweling and The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
The Vegan Shop-Up, NYC’s only vegan market
Podcasts: From Scratch, How I Built This, Girl Boss Radio
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Biography
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson