Her aim was to create the gourmet chocolates that would be enhanced with local produce such as heather honey, whisky and locally grown fruit. She wanted the business to become known for excellence and innovative products. With assistance from the b ank, Suzy invested in the latest equipment for the business’s specialist chocolate making factory. J.O.C. gained a reputation for excellence and Suzy developed good relationships with several exclusive restaurants and hotels. She ensured that customers received orders on time and developed a reputation for dependability. J.O.C. also worked closely with some restaurants to create specialist chocolates for their specific requirements. This meant that J.O.C. had achieved the dual objectives of securing sales and developing new products was being met. Suzy fostered good relationships with her main suppliers of chocolate and cocoa from the Dominican Republic and Ivory Coast. There were two main farmers supplying the raw material allowing J.O.C. to have alternative sources to enhance taste. Suzy decided to limit the number of suppliers so that she could develop a very close relationship as she did not want to run the business with price as the key factor. Suzy believed in ethical responsibility and supported the Ethical Trading Initiative. The aim was to create self-help in the communities supplying the cocoa and this fitted in with her aim of creating a positive culture in all aspects of the business. Back at the factory all staff were supported in developing their skills, and training for the production staff ensured a high level of expertise throughout the business. Growth of the business Two key appointments from the outset were Leon Houmond and Hafiz Shah. Leon was appointed as Head of Chocolate Development, Concept Chocolatier; and Hafiz as
4 Assessment Version 1.0 Chocolate Production, Factory Manager. Leon had previously trained in Switzerland, working alongside Suzy when she was undertaking her qualifications. She knew Leon was a diligent, creative individual and would prove to be an important part of the team. Suzy and Leon met every Monday afternoon to discuss potential developments. This allowed Suzy to be involved in creating chocolates but also time away from the business to visit customers ensuring that their individual needs were being met and to meet with suppliers to discuss future needs for production. The aim of appointing Hafiz was to ensure Suzy did not have to manage chocolate production in the factory. Hafiz had previously worked for a specialist food firm. He knew the importance of adhering to hygiene regulations and how team working can be an aid to success. Hafiz and Suzy met on Monday morning to discuss the weekly production programme, following which, Hafiz met with the team leaders to discuss and assign tasks and discuss any potential problems. He believed in trusting his team and did not routinely check progress as everyone knows what is needed’. Hafiz
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