Retaining brand heritage ‘important’ for new owner of The Chocolate Box
Article posted: February 5, 2021
Retaining brand heritage while expanding the popular confectionery business are top priorities under new ownership of The Chocolate Box.
Paul Ryan, who took the reins of The Chocolate Box as its new owner and managing director in December 2020, said he is committed to “retaining the heritage of the brand” while fulfilling plans to expand the business nationwide.
That history and heritage has been prominent in the Camberwell shopping precinct, as The Chocolate Box’s Camberwell store in Burke Rd has been operating for more than 60 years.
With a background in retail across general management, operations, merchandising and strategy, Mr Ryan is perfectly placed to lead The Chocolate Box into the future, for which he has big ambitions.
“The immediate focus is updating the retail concept, which is something that hasn’t been done for a decade now, and also investing heavily in the digital spectrum and enhancing the offer online, so it’s a consistent experience that the customer has both in-store and online,” he said.
“That also involves the look and feel in-store. It’s still using and keeping our DNA heritage of the branding and the logo but bringing a bit more of a new, contemporary feel to it. Again, that will filter through online as well, along with some new categories we want to introduce and product extensions as well.”
Wheels are also in motion to expand the number of stores across Australia, with the first new store to open in Potts Point, Sydney by end of March 2021.
As part of the transition to new business ownership, Mr Ryan has retained all staff members previously employed at The Chocolate Box, which he said was a huge asset.
“We’ve got 38 staff and of that, we’ve got eight people that have been here more than 20 years, and another 15 people who have been here more than 10 years. So, it’s a real rich history with a team that knows the brand, knows the Adler family (former owners), and the founding parents Rose and Richard (Adler),” he said.
“I wanted to make sure I was entering a business where there was a team already in place that could manage it, so I could work on the business rather than in the business. So, my focus and my skill is to grow the business and support the team at various levels of management.”
Mr Ryan said it was personally “really important” to continue the legacy of The Chocolate Box brand, and he recalls fond memories of the original store in Burke Rd, Camberwell.
“The brand and the history of the brand was something really important for me when looking at buying a retail business,” he said.
“Working with both Gary and Marion Adler during the purchase of the business and the transition, for them it was very much about… the future of the business, and that it was going to expand and still be around, but also have the ability to retain the staff and give them career opportunities.”
One thing The Chocolate Box has prided itself on over the years is its exceptional and personalised customer service, which Mr Ryan is eager to cultivate further.
“The customer service and experience in-store is amazing… it has a very rich history, which we want to use and develop more as we grow,” he said.
From its beginnings in Camberwell to its expansion Australia-wide today, the future is looking sweet for The Chocolate Box.