Founder, Chocolala OÜ – an award-winning luxury hand-made chocolate company
Five years ago, Kristi Lehtis (LH 2000- 2003), lived in Dubai working as a lawyer. After having her first child, Kristi and her partner decided to move back to Estonia where eventually it seemed easier to combine work and family life as an entrepreneur.
Her long-held dream was to have her own chocolate factory, and it was at this stage that she started to make her dream a reality. This wasn’t without its challenges. She started the company using the family home, a one-bedroom apartment to make the chocolate and with the help of one employee. It took a huge amount of time and effort to build up a client base, and they didn’t get their first sale until six months into the business venture. Not making a profit in the first few years of the start-up meant the family were forced to survive on savings and help from relatives.
Today she has a shop in Tallinn, where her chocolates are made from scratch using the best cocoa beans available. She has created a special brand for her chocolates by using natural ingredients and other components sourced from Estonian forests such as berries, spruce sprouts, birch sap, and sea buckthorn.
The company Chocolala has multiple national clients, including Estonian retailers and businesses, and clients from other countries in Europe and the rest of the World. Five years on, in 2019, she reported a turnover of almost one million Euros and they have been nominated among the ten best chocolate shops in the world.
Kristi says, “I feel lucky because I can do the work I love with the people who are dear to me. We can see every day that our chocolate makes people happy. It brings us much joy and makes all the past sacrifices irrelevant.” Find out more about Kristi and her achievements on the Chocolala website.