27-year-old Milana Privalova started her career of the confectioner by baking cakes and cookies in a small workshop at a cafe in Ulyanovsk three years ago. Then Milana decided to diversify the product range, and she added own-produced chocolate. After training in "Chocolate Academy" she set her sights on creation of the chocolate brand. Milana has bought a small machine that heats and cools chocolate, and has started to experiment with stuffings — fruit, berries and nuts. Milana has decided to name her brand "Simbirsk atelier".
Once she was invited to a business meeting to Moscow. Product samples from Ulyanovsk made a good impression, and they costed much cheaper than imported ones. In two days the company representative made the first trial order for 200 chocolates, in two weeks — for 10 thousand.
The profit allowed to improve the package, and "Simbirsk atelier" range expanded to nine types of cookies and 11 types of chocolate. Extravagant stuffings like lavender, pink pepper, salt and food gold came into play. At the same time she started experiments with preparation of chocolate made not of chocolate paste, but of cocoa mass – it allowed to reduce product cost.
Full production opened in 2015. The biggest part of work is automated. Workshop power — 85 t of products a month. 70% of the range are produced under own brand, the rest — by retail networks orders.
Privalova buys chocolate materials from distributors of Belgian factories, and milk and whey – from Ulyanovsk plants. Prime cost of a bar — about 50 rubles. After uncountable experiments the businesswoman reduced the flavor palette to six kinds of chocolate.
This approach allowed to increase sales. Now Ulyanovsk chocolate is on sale in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Samara, Ufa, Kaliningrad and other big cities of Russia.
Privalova is convinced that the project has a chance to reach a new level. With the help of Export development Center of Ulyanovsk region she signed an export contract with Kazakhstan; the first delivery was in December, 2016. And in spring, 2017 she started deliveries to China and Southeast Asia.