Maria Constantinou is the founder of Chococru, the chocolate with a difference and at her Knightsbridge offices she explained why her chocolate is actually good for you.
Wow! Just what every woman has been waiting for, I thought, healthy, guilt free chocolate. Maria took great pride in confirming this and explaining the health benefits which come with Chococru’s extraordinary antioxidant cocoa and chocolate, a range, which contains the world’s richest source of flavanol antioxidants.
The products are immaculately presented and, it has to be said, taste as good as they look, with a reassuring list of significant health benefits that make them an even more attractive proposition.
Says Marla, “I was born and raised in Birmingham. My father was originally a stonemason and builder and my mother a seamstress from Cyprus. When they bought a fish and chip shop we all helped out, working long hours but providing guaranteed quality and freshness.
“My first interest in business came from selling Avon cosmetics at school. Fruit flavored lip gloss was all the rage at the time. I loved the social aspect of sales and Avon lip gloss sales flourished. My friends had every flavour and my mother won sales person of the year!
“I graduated at 20 with a degree in humanities and a post gradate diploma in teaching. My original career was in the pharmaceutical industries. I worked for both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies helping to train and educate doctors, consultants and medical staff on the benefits and uses of company products.
“I grew up in a family where freshly prepared food, Mediterranean diet and healthy eating were the norm. Once my children started kindergarten, I was appalled by the foods they were exposed to and even encouraged to eat! Cooking seemed to always involve sugar and fat loaded cakes and biscuits.
“I wanted my children to eat nutritionally dense foods without denying them treats. I loved good quality chocolate and ate it every day. Low cocoa and high sugar confectionary chocolates were making me feel tired and lethargic. Gradually, I began to formulate healthier cookie, cake and chocolate delicacies using blends of fruits, nuts, essence oils and natural fruit extracts, cocoa and chocolate. I used rapeseed oil, almond and walnut oils creating wonderful shapes and decorating in a fun, natural way, which appealed to my children and their friends. Knowing they were eating little nuggets of nutritionally dense treats, made me realize I could take this one step further and that was how Chococru was born.”
The Chococru range is rich in powerful flavanol antioxidants. Studies have linked the regular consumption of cocoa flavanols to various beneficial effects from maintaining cardiovascular health to improved brain function and anti-ageing in general. Flavanols can also significantly help to protect the skin from UV light.
At present, there are 20 Chococru products containing extraordinary antioxidant chocolate and cocoa, with more being developed. Some of these chocolates are further enhanced with the use of nutritionally dense ingredients.
“By using fruit extracts and natural fruit, we have reduced the use of high GI/GL sugar and with heart-healthy walnut, almond and coconut oils we have replaced conventional oils. We use natural, harmonizing, essential oils for flavouring that, whilst expensive, meet our aim of producing high quality products.”
Results have shown that just two 10g servings of the extraordinary antioxidant chocolate per day, or one teaspoon of Chococru extraordinary antioxidant cocoa is enough to: achieve positive improvements in skin elasticity, strengthen your natural defenses against oxidative stress and improve concentration and focus.
Additionally the products can help reduce symptoms of depression and have a mood-elevating effect
“As a single mum, there are many challenges when starting a new business, the main one being time for everything important.”
“When the children were younger, I would work when they slept, which is something I still do. I often work until the early hours of the morning. I don’t have a mobile, so when out with my three children I am not distracted from giving them my full attention.
“I try to involve my children wherever I can. My daughters are old enough to come to exhibitions with me now and the four of us have lots of fun inventing new flavours.”
“I have many future developments in the pipeline so watch this space…”
If you would like to learn more about Chococru then visit the website at www.chococru.com