Chocolate buttons from Montezuma’s have long been one of our best-selling products and their delicious chocolate has made it into a number of Don’t Buy Her Flowers  packages. They’re a small business like us and have a fascinating backstory that means they are purpose and value-led where organic business growth wins over greed. As well as being passionate about making ‘extraordinary chocolate, done properly’, co-founders Helen and Simon are also committed to making the business as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible. Helen and Simon were kind enough to answer a few questions about how they are achieving that, and where they hope to take the business in the future.

Tell us a bit about how Montezuma’s came about?

I was studying law, but as soon as I started my training contract, I could see that the road to the interesting cases and clients was an extremely long and not a very exciting one. When Simon joined the same law firm, we quickly talked each other out of our legal careers and gave it all up to embark on a life-changing trip to South America.

The idea for Montezuma’s hit us when we were walking around the beautiful town of Bariloche San Carlos in the Argentinian Lake District during our yearlong adventure.

It was filled with chocolate shops from tiny boutiques to a chocolate supermarket, but all boasting the most amazing chocolate, and demonstrating retail theatre like I’d never seen before. I was hooked and determined to bring the ideas back to the UK where the chocolate offering on our high streets was incredibly unexciting.

How have you found the last 12 months?

I believe that smaller businesses are far better placed to cope with these drastic situations than large corporations. We make all of our own products in our own factory and so have complete control over all of our production and our sales channels. Our Board is small and our leadership team is used to making decisions quickly and under pressure. 

This hasn’t made dealing with Covid-19 easy but I would say we have been sufficiently agile that we have been able to handle everything it has thrown at us.  Closing our retail stores two weeks before Easter and then during the week before Christmas, with virtually no notice was potentially disastrous for a chocolate business.  But the incredible team spirit shown by everyone meant that we were able to move stock around the business quickly and where we have lost out on retail sales, we have been able to pick most of this up through the website. 

We know that sustainability and eco-friendliness are core values for Montezuma’s and you have been working towards achieving BCorp status; How has that process been so far and what changes have you made to the business as a result of going through the accreditation process? 

It was a huge undertaking for us to switch to entirely eco packaging.  There are some new and exciting developments in the packaging industry with new recyclable materials coming through so we worked really hard with our suppliers to test them on our products.  We are very proud that all of our packaging is now 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable.

BCorp is the next step for us, and we have already changed our constitution to ensure we consider the three Ps of people, planet and profit when making any decision for the business. 

It’s about to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ – as founders of a business with strong eco-credentials, what would be your top three actions people can take at home to reduce the environmental impact of Christmas? 

Wrap gifts with recycled paper, buy gifts which have recyclable packaging, and buy something that will last forever!

What is the best gift someone has ever bought for you, or the most thoughtful thing someone has ever done for you?

Simon bought me a ring for our 20th wedding anniversary which was cast in sand from our favourite Cornish beach, it makes me smile everyday.

What makes you laugh? 


Words to live by? 

There’s opportunity in every disaster.

You can find a range of Montezuma’s products in our packages.