10 Years of Moo Free

10 Years of Moo Free

Moo Free is 10 years old! A big thank you to everyone who has supported us both throughout the years and during these trying times.

To celebrate we wanted to take you through the history of the company.

Prior to Moo Free being created (2004), founders Andrea and Mike Jessop were selling specialised chocolate online, due to having gluten and lactose intolerances respectively it was important to them to include the dietary information.

Before long Andrea and Mike were getting calls from people desperately searching for dairy free Easter eggs. Andrea’s son, who was then in his twenties, is dairy intolerant and as a small child Andrea could not find a suitable Easter egg or Advent for him to have. So, she was surprised there was still no alternative available. This came as a shock; it was unbelievable that no one had developed a great tasting chocolate egg to buy.

This epiphany set the pair on a long winding road. In 2008 after re-mortgaging their house and purchasing machinery and ingredients they started planning and designing the chocolate, this would take about 2 years to complete. In that time, they experimented with many different flavours whilst enlisting hundreds of volunteers including their grandson, who is also dairy intolerant, to taste test all the variants they made.

Eventually they managed to create what they considered the best milk alternative chocolate flavour and in 2010 Moo Free was born. Keeping with their personal values, eating organic and concerns about how food is produced, the chocolate is made with organic cocoa and organic unrefined sugar. The cocoa is sourced from plantations in the prestigious San Francisco de Macoris region of the Dominican Republic, from a consortium of farmers. This area is well known for treating cocoa farmers better. This also means that farmers are not exposed to dangerous pesticides.


At that time, research indicated that farmers using pesticides did not have the right protection and were often exposed to these dangerous pesticides thus experiencing the nasty affects these pesticides have. It was shown that children born to parents exposed to pesticides had a higher rate of deformities. The cocoa from this area is considered to produce a premium chocolate with fruity notes.

The first few years were rough, it didn’t help that the country was still in the middle of a recession so loans from the bank were near non-existent. They soon outgrew the small warehouse space they had in Reading and needed to move to bigger premises. Fortunately, the unit next door become available and was three times the size of their existing unit so moved next door. This would lead to another re-mortgage of the house again due to the need for this larger space and better machinery.

It did not take long for Moo Free to outgrow this new space and Reading was not the ideal place to attract factory workers. Andrea and Mike decided to look in other regions and managed to find factory space in the town of Holsworthy in Devon.

From there the company blossomed into a profitable business with a hard-working team made up of production workers, office staff, engineers, warehouse staff and NPD making and coming up with many different variants of chocolate. the growth of the company was so fast that in 2016 we were awarded the Queen’s Award For Enterprise one of the most distinguished award a business can earn, Andrea and Mike even got to meet the Queen and Prince Phillip!

After a couple of years we managed to acquire a bigger factory to coincide with our existing factory allowing for bigger production capacity and development. It has allowed us to develop such items as the Premium Range and our white chocolate range – White Strawberry Hammy, White Raspberry Truffles and the Yummy White Mini Moo. We are continuing to look at new chocolates.


We have always believed that everyone deserves a chance of employment no matter what their background. We have a number of staff who are known to be autistic and a few who maybe are not aware! We have several who are dyslexic. If someone wants to work, no matter their background we will do what we can to accommodate any special needs. Over the years we have helped many people on their journey to employment. Some we have managed to keep and are still with us, some have moved on to more suitable positions.

This present time is just another blip in our journey. We have furloughed most of our staff, as our orders from supermarkets and wholesalers have reduced dramatically. We will be bringing our staff back in June to concentrate on making the Christmas products. We are looking at ways we can keep our staff safe yet still produce product. Our staff are important to us and it is a priority that they remain safe.

Our factory shop (www.dairyfreechocolates.com) is our lifeline during this situation and we appreciate everyone who is purchasing directly from us at this time.

A big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years and another big thank you to all the hard working staff in Moo Free who have made this all work, here’s to another 10 years! Although we have had to postpone any celebrations this year, we will look at special celebrations next year or as soon as it is safe to do so.

Keep safe everyone.