LoveRaw® is the innovative vegan chocolate brand which makes ‘chocolate chocolate’ – not only for vegans, but for unvegan vegans (Someone who chooses to eat less meat and opts for either vegetarian or vegan meals) too.
Rimi and Manav Thapar, husband and wife team and founders of LoveRaw®, are on a mission to continue making legendary vegan chocolate that tastes great whilst maintaining their honest, transparent and no artificial nonsense roots. They want to remove the negative stigma associated with vegan chocolate and prove that it can be decadently indulgent and delicious.
Rimi Thapar already had a great career within investment banking but decided to leave this behind her and, following a series of life events, launched LoveRaw® in 2013.
In 2010, Rimi made the decision to leave her job and move to Spain where her husband was based. Manav Thapar had his own business in distribution and was also selling property to international investors in Spain.
Rimi spent the next two years travelling between Spain and the UK as her father was sick. During this time, she regularly felt tired and had no energy, so started to question if there really was a correlation between eating well and feeling good, she discovered “HELL YES!” After moving to Spain, she discovered farmers markets, and was eating a diet richer in fresh and unprocessed foods. Rimi was feeling re-energised but she encountered issues when continuing with this new lifestyle.
Rimi became frustrated that a lot of food companies were promoting themselves as ‘healthy & nutritious’ but on closer inspection found that this wasn’t the case. This spurred her on to make her own products so that she knew exactly what was going into them and that consumers weren’t being misled, knowing exactly what they were buying in to.
“The name LoveRaw® represents being natural, stripped back, transparent and honest,” says Rimi.
Rimi launched LoveRaw® in 2013 from her in-law’s home kitchen in Manchester with a start-up budget of only £600. Hustling her way into Wholefoods, she received and over promised her first order of 5000 units of organic snack bars. She had help from family and friends to make this order happen whilst working crazy 20-hour days to get up and running.
Rimi presented her new confectionary product range in the Dragons Den in 2017 and it was on this premise an offer was made by Deborah Meaden to the tune of £50K. Unable to agree percentages on the business, Rimi walked away from the Dragons and since launched the new category mentioned on the show. The Vegan Buttercup category performed phenomenally well and based on this success, Rimi has extended this category and gone on to introduce new products to the LoveRaw range, including chocolate bars made with their own vegan ‘milk’ chocolate.
Despite the financial devastation the pandemic has caused for businesses across the globe, 2020 has been an outstanding year for this dynamic duo and their brand. Here is what they have achieved in brief:
- they won a fantastic investment form Blue Horizon Ventures (late 2019)
- they launched their very own vegan M:lk® Choc Bars (beating Cadbury to it)
- they launched their world first vegan Cre&m Wafer Bars
- they won two regional Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2020, North West Entrepreneurs of the Year and Family Business Entrepreneurs of the Year
- they won at the World Plant Based Awards 2020 for the Best Dairy Product Alternative for their M:lk® Choc Bars
As the business evolved, so have Manav and Rimi’s family and they now have two small children. Working around the clock in a fast-growing, dynamic business hasn’t hindered Rimi, who regularly takes her children to work and has been known to take them along to investor meetings and work trips to Germany. In fact, since becoming a super mum, Rimi is even more passionate about what she does and making LoveRaw® the go-to vegan choice for delicious chocolate treats.
It has obviously been a challenge to juggle being a mum with running a business and Rimi maintains that it is pretty much impossible to achieve a work-life balance. But she and Manav don’t just want to sacrifice the business that they have worked so hard to build and so they have found a way to include their children and their routine as part of her working day; tears, tantrums, nappies and all!