Inspired Action Leads to Business Growth
Willit House Chocolate Company owner Jessica Mahlum started her business in April 2015 by renting out the commercial kitchen space at Stone Soup Café, a local non-profit soup kitchen. Customization and inspiration led to the popularity of the Willit House Chocolate Boxes and within a few short months, business growth led to expansion into their own location in North Pole, Alaska.
Jessica built the business with the understanding that her customers aren’t coming in just for chocolate. It’s about creating something unique and inspired worthy of the connection between people. It is about the experience of indulging in something well-designed or giving a gift you carefully picked out for someone special. This is reflected in every aspect of her business model. Willit House uses custom ordered chocolate molds from Europe and always sources 100% sustainably cultivated chocolate. Even their salt is hand-harvested from the salt flats of Northern France.
From the beginning, Jessica worked with Alaska SBDC Business Advisor Alexis Fanelli to make sure the business side of things were as flawless as her chocolates. From finding investment capital to hiring their first employee to strategizing and growing the business, Alexis was able to apply her own experience and knowledge and help Jessica avoid many of the pitfalls that plague small businesses in their first few months.
“The SBDC offered resources at each milestone in my business and they did it for free. Alexis was a sounding board and experienced mentor. She was just an email away when I needed knowledgeable advice on best practices for my business. Most importantly, she understood my passion to create and grow my business and my need to create a work-life balance for my family.”
A growing community of Willit House followers understand the unique brand perspective of this local chocolate company. At the heart of all inspired action is the human will, an energetic determination that encourages us all to seek out life’s treasures. What better way to succeed and inspire than to “will it.”
Willit House Chocolate Company is now available statewide in over 20 stores across Alaska! You can learn more about the organization and order chocolates by visiting their website or following them on Facebook!