Twin brothers Charlie and Brian Trupo have launched an ethical, vegan milk chocolate company.
Brian, of Lewes, and Charlie, who now lives in Scotland, have crowdfunded almost $150,000 so far for their ethical chocolate company Trupo Treats, raising $50,000 in just one day.
In July 2020, the brothers raised an initial $27,000 and launched a vegan rice crunch bar that sold out online in just a few months.
They launched a second crowdfunder in April this year, raising $50,000 on day one, and $120,000 to date. They are now going into production of three new chocolate bars – a wafer, a caramel cookie and a classic milk chocolate bar made with coconut milk.
The animal-loving brothers are giving 10 percent of their annual profits to animal sanctuaries.
“We’re trying our best to make chocolate that benefits people, animals and the planet. People, because we use only fairly traded cocoa; the planet, because our packaging is compostable; and animals, because we’re vegan, but also because we’re giving 10 percent of our profits to animal sanctuaries,” said Charlie, who just graduated with a bachelor of environmental science degree from the University of Stirling in Scotland.
“I think everyone’s excited about our product because we are one of the first vegan milk chocolate companies, and we stand behind our values, which is being a company that doesn’t harm anyone,” said Charlie.
Brian is in charge of recipe development and production, working with a factory in California, while Charlie looks after social media and promotion from Scotland.
“It was certainly difficult to balance studying with Trupo Treats, especially during my final year,” said Charlie. “But I wanted to study environmental science at Stirling because climate change is a really important topic, and something I want to combat. And I love Scotland.” Eventually he hopes to combine Trupo Treats with a career in environmental film making.
Charlie became a vegetarian when he was 7, while waiting for his Thanksgiving turkey to be served at a family dinner. “I asked where all the dads were, and was told they were out hunting for our dinner. That was the first time I made the link between animals and the food I ate. I don’t think I ate my dinner that night.”
Brian quickly followed suit, and both are now vegans. They ran a VeggieBrothers Instagram account dedicated to their love of animals, and then Brian had a business brainwave.
“Brian was always calling me with ideas, being an entrepreneur, but this one seemed like one that could actually work,” said Charlie.
For more information, go to trupotreats.com.