SMOOR's stairway to chocolate heaven

SMOOR's stairway to chocolate heaven

SMOOR by Bliss, Bengaluru’s own chocolat au fait, is ready to serve its sweet delicacies outside the city.

The company, earlier known as just Bliss, has rebranded and repositioned itself as a world-class chocolatier, with plans to expand into Delhi and Mumbai, followed by an entry into the Middle East and other Asian markets.

At the launch of its flagship store in Bengaluru, the CEO of the company, Vimal Sharma, said, “In July, last year, we decided to take things to the next level at Bliss. The new chocolate studio in Bengaluru is a step in that direction.” Positioning itself in the luxury segment, the brand offers couverture chocolates that are made of 100% pure cocoa butter. “At SMOOR, the quality of our products is paramount. We source our cocoa from various parts of the world, including Ghana, Madagascar, Ecuador, and São Tomé and Príncipe, and all chocolates are produced by expert chocolatiers at our manufacturing facilty in Bengaluru.”

As a part of the rebranding exercise, the company has expanded its product portfolio from about 50 pralines and cakes, to 150-200 novel recipes. “We have spent substantial amount of time in the whole rebranding exercise. Till date, an investment of up to Rs 25 crore has been made into the establishment and expansion of the company, a majority of which was made in the last 12 months,” Sharma, who hails from the Pacific island nation of Fiji, said.

Proposing that India is now ready for exquisite gourmet chocolates, he said, “In our first year, we produced about three tonnes of chocolate, and now we are producing up to 30 tonnes per year. This speaks volumes for the kind of uptake for specialty chocolates in India,” he said, adding that the industry for gourmet chocolates is expanding at about 50% with organised players like ITC’s Fabelle entering the niche market.

In the next three years, the company plans to set up at least 100 outlets across the country, in all of its three formats including gift shops, cafés and expansive chocolate studios. “Delhi and Mumbai will each get a flagship store with four to five cafés. We plan to cover more cities with the gift store format,” he said. Targeting a turnover of Rs 25 crore for FY2016-17, the CEO said that the company is expecting a four-fold increase in revenues in the following four years.

The company, which is in talks to raise Rs 15-20 crore in the next six months, plans to soon set up its second manufacturing facility in Bengaluru to cater to its mapped expansion plans.
 

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