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When it comes to responsible packaging, chocolate factory Chjoko puts its trust in Grano

When it comes to responsible packaging, chocolate factory Chjoko puts its trust in Grano

Grano has helped Chjoko in their efforts to produce more socially responsible and environmentally friendly packaging solutions for their chocolate products. According to Chjoko’s Director of Sales Laura Gröndahl, Grano can read them like an open book.

Chjoko is a chocolate factory located in Helsinki: a family-owned business that makes premium handcrafted chocolate products, such as chocolate bars, pralines, macaroons and ice cream.

Grano serves as a cooperation partner for Chjoko, providing them with various types of packaging. The aim is to help Chjoko produce more socially responsible and environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

We reached out to one half of the power couple behind Chjoko, the cheerful Laura Gröndahl, who says that she originally joined the company to help out her spouse for three months, but that three months has since extended to nearly 16 years. Laura explains that she handles everything else at the company besides matters related to the actual chocolate production, which are handled by her husband, Mika.

– Mika handles all of Chjoko's production and product design. I handle everything else that’s left: sales, marketing, shops, orders, the webshop, etc. I have never really been able to say what I actually do for a living. I just spin all around like a spinning top, trying to keep things moving. I have been doing this for sixteen years now, so I must be doing something right, Laura Gröndahl says with a cheerful laugh.

From plastic packaging to more environmentally responsible chocolate boxes

Laura Gröndahl says that as a Finnish company, Chjoko wants to use Finnish producers whenever possible.

– Although we cannot grow the cocoa beans needed to make chocolate in our own backyard, part of our ideology is that we try to purchase all of our packaging from Finland, for example. We do so not only for the sake of transparency, but also to support domestic employment, Gröndahl states with determination.

Before, Chjoko’s boxes were purchased ready-made from a foreign supplier and consisted of typical chocolate boxes in terms of structure and materials.

At Grano, the person managing the partnership with Chjoko is Sales Manager Antti Grönberg. As an example of updated, more environmentally friendly packaging, he mentions Chjoko's praline boxes, which come in several different sizes for different numbers of hand-packed pralines.

– Chjoko wanted to operate more responsibly, so nowadays their pralines are packed in boxes made of renewable and recyclable Finnish cardboard. The interiors of the boxes are also made of food-safe cardboard instead of plastic, Grönberg explains.

The packaging materials used also emphasise Chjoko's organic and artisan-oriented sensibilities.

– Environmentally friendly packaging is a must nowadays. If you wrap everything up in plastic, you will soon find your customers walking away. Young people, in particular, are very aware of environmental sustainability and recyclability. Nowadays people are overall more willing to change the world when it comes to the use of plastics, Laura Gröndahl says, explaining the reasoning behind Chjoko's more responsible packaging choices.

Over the years, Grano has supplied Chjoko with a wide range of different packaging solutions, from chocolate bar wrappers to displays and boxes.

– We have received a lot of positive feedback about our boxes. We also send them abroad, to places as far away as Japan. The durability of our chocolate boxes is also a good thing in terms of e-commerce and other deliveries, says Gröndahl.

Mutual transparency helps when things get busy

Laura Gröndahl says that she likes how transparent Grano and their contact person Antti Grönberg are.

– I have always liked being able to talk about things openly, for example when Grano’s production department is at capacity. Even when this is the case, I can tell them openly that I need these boxes by this date and these other ones by that date and ask them ‘can you do it?’ Fortunately, in many cases the answer is ‘Yes we can’, she says.

– That is something that I appreciate a lot. In addition to Antti, I also have a contact person in the printing department to whom I can send messages like ‘HELP!’ without Antti having to be in the middle, Gröndahl laughs. 

She says that for a busy entrepreneur like her, communication with Grano has been extremely easy.

– They are a very professional bunch. Antti is also a definite 10/10. Seriously, he’s the kind of person who will respond to me from his car while he’s on holiday, so I really couldn’t ask for a better contact person. I have been very happy with them, Gröndahl says, praising Grano and Antti Grönberg.

Transparency and enthusiasm also facilitate the development of new packaging. According to Gröndahl, Grano is able to provide demo versions of new packaging solutions even on very short notice. She mentions that Antti is eager to develop new things with Chjoko and also very proactive. 

– Antti recently read me like an open book once again and ordered some materials that they needed for our packaging in advance. I don’t know what our Christmas sales would have been like if those materials had not been available. I think things like this are great, too. I will definitely be working together with Grano in future as well, Gröndahl decides.

– Environmentally friendly packaging is a must nowadays. If you wrap everything up in plastic, you will soon find your customers walking away.

Laura Gröndahl / entrepreneur, Chjoko


The article was originally published on 10.04.2022 and has been updated on 20.02.2024.
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