Some businesses are born from ideas of independence, autonomy and freedom from the mundane. Others are born from a passion for creating something, helping people and ideas that help solve society’s everyday problems. This business idea was born at age 12.
Carlos Ayala started making chocolates with his twin sister as a hobby. “We called it Vicolo Sei, after the street my great aunty used to live on in Narni, Italy” said Carlos a third generation Italian-Ecuadorian and Bristol-based business owner. However, it wasn’t until Carlos came to Bristol that he decided to start his business. “I came to Bristol with the idea and started doing research on how to set up a business. I wanted to be sure I was doing it right” said Carlos.
Carlos creates delicious bonbons and truffles from organically sourced cocoa from Ecuador and hosts chocolate tasting sensory experiences from his home in Shirehampton, Bristol. He also imports eclectic chocolate bars from Ecuador and sells them through his partners in stores around the city.
Whilst setting up his business, Carlos had help from friends who worked in similar industries and had experience. Carlos also came across North & East Bristol Enterprise Support, and enrolled looking for marketing support to help promote his business. “I attended a few marketing workshops and the three-day Introduction to Enterprise course, which I found very helpful to give structure to my marketing activities” said Carlos.
Looking to further grow his business, Carlos is collaborating with Phychopomp, a local gin distillery located at Christmas Steps and Raw Space, a co-working and community space in Gloucester Road. The more central location will allow him to scale his business with a better presence and to find his niche in the chocolate industry with his sensory tasting experiences.