This photo essay, by Margarita Anisimova, Natacha Voskoboinikoff, Faisal Al Kaisi, and Maria Jose Cardona Forero analyses the activities of a Tower Hamlets business, the Dark Sugars chocolate shop in Brick Lane. All photos by Natacha Voskoboinikoff.
Dark Sugars is a chocolate shop. Two shops are available in Tower Hamlets, London. The first shop (the smallest), Dark Sugars Chocolates is located at 141 Brick Lane, London, and the second one Dark Sugars Cocoa House is located in 124-126 Brick Lane, London.
In this photo essay, we are going to focus on the Dark Sugars Chocolates because that was the first shop to open and we interviewed a staff member there.
These two shops are opened from 10 am to 10 pm, from Monday to Sunday. It is possible to contact them via email email@example.com , social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and phone +44(0)7429472606.
Customers come to the shops from all around the world in order to taste Ghanaian cocoa beans and have the chance to dance with the Chocolate Man.
Dark Sugars is a cultural venue in Tower Hamlets run as a Business. This is what we are going to demonstrate in this report.
HOW DID IT START
‘’Dark Sugars is the story of one woman’s journey to tell the story of cocoa – from tree to tummy.’’
One day, a woman called Nyanga went to Spitalfields Market in order to find two truffles and a lot of chutzpah. While she was looking for these products, she met someone. She found in the market a man, the Chocolate Man who shared her love of chocolate. From that day, Nyanga and the Chocolate Man decided to open a stand in the famous Borough Market.
A few years later, Nyanga flew to South America and West Africa, Ghana, in her family’s farm, to research cocoa. Then she came back to London, sharing her experience from these three years.
This is how in 2013, Nyanga and the Chocolate Man opened the first Dark Sugars shop, Dark Sugars Chocolates Shop on Brick Lane. Then, because of the big success, two years after, the second shop, Dark Sugars Cocoa House opened.
HOW THE ORGANISATION SEEKS TO SATISFY ITS CUSTOMERS
Dark Sugars is widely renowned for its famous chocolates, its unique and cultural vibe. The shop is inspired by African art and provides an entirely different experience of buying chocolate. Typically, you would enter a chocolate shop with the aim of just buying chocolate and leaving right away. With Dark Sugars, however, our money is being paid to immerse in a different culture. Once you enter the shop, you are entering a different world with a unique aura that makes you feel comfortable. Dark Sugars provide quality chocolates that are homemade with quality ingredients. Having made chocolates from Ghanaian cocoa beans, people around the world visit to come and have a taste of their chocolates. Every person is welcome, our money goes to not only the tasty chocolates they provide but the incredible experience that comes along with it. This is how they try to satisfy their customers.
HOW DOES THE ORGANISATION PRESENTS ITSELF IN TERMS OF BRANDING AND MARKETING
Dark Sugars wants to offer the best experience to their customers. In order to satisfy everyone, they select high-quality chocolates. The main point is to share their passion and culture.
In terms of marketing, they want customers to have a good impression of the brand. As a matter of fact, they communicate a lot on their social media. They want people to share their experience with Dark Sugars. Every person that has experienced Dark Sugars took a picture of it. Moreover, when people enter the shop they can enjoy quiet music and the delicious smell of chocolate. In the shop, people have the possibility to taste different chocolates so that they decide to buy the product. Shops are designed in a very welcoming way, with warm colours. On the wall, we can find their symbolic painting, ‘’The five Heroes of Dark sugars’’(see figure 2), with a story next to it. To earn the public’s confidence, customers can attend the preparation of their hot chocolates. Cocoa beans are exposed in the shop and are cut in front of the customers. This is a way to connect with them.
When buying any product, a Dark Sugars sticker is placed across it. Every cup, box, napkin has the Dark Sugar logo. This is part of the marketing.
At the Dark Sugars chocolate shop, we can only see one man. He welcomes and advises the customers, he is responsible for sales. The atmosphere in the Dark Sugars is filled with positivity and happiness. This is mainly due to their staff as they are so polite so that you can feel that they are real experts in chocolate. For example, the way the man-made hot chocolate was like a journey. He explained to us the history of hot chocolate, the recipe and what kind of chocolate he was using. It is fascinating how one man in that little shop can make you your favourite drink, advise you on the chocolate selection and at the same time tell the story of the chocolate making. Because of this professionalism, the customers are leaving the Dark Sugars with a smile on their faces, they are filled with positive energy.
HOW THE ORGANISATION MAKES MONEY
Dark sugar makes a profit by selling unique handmade chocolates, truffles and vegan treats. Customers prefer to buy from this shop and not others, as not many chocolate shops offer their customers vegan chocolate options. Furthermore, they sell a huge variety of flavours including pistachio, hazelnut, orange and passion fruit. According to the man that we interviewed, these flavours are ones of the most popular. Customers really enjoy tasting these. The organisation analyses the trends of the flavours that people buy the most, in order to see which flavours can be produced more. As a matter of fact, if they produce more chocolates that are on demand, their profit is going to increase and the losses will be less for their business.
Dark Sugars is a cultural venue in Tower Hamlets run as a Business that knows how to target their customers.
To assure customers full satisfaction and have a chance to expand, Dark Sugars offers quality, the possibility to deliver his products worldwide, has a variety of handmade flavours, kind and expert staff. Moreover, they organize some events in their shops and give you the possibility to organize your own events in their shops. Dark Sugars has a unique identity, passion and cultural vibes with African influences.
Hence, Dark Sugars is a promising business.
-Margarita, Maria, Natacha