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Sawade | Overview

Pitch Video

Since 1880, Sawade has been famous for its high-quality chocolates, truffles, and other chocolate specialties made in Berlin. We acquired this traditional company in 2013, completely reorganized it, and now want to turn it into one of Germany's leading producers of handmade chocolate products. With the help of the crowd, we want to raise capital for this expansion of Sawade.

Investment Key Facts


Sawade Venture Loan

Chocolate producer Sawade is the first company to raise growth capital through venture loans on Companisto. Because of our constant revenues and our potential for growth, we qualify for a venture loan and are offering investors a very attractive interest rate. In fact, we are offering investors above-average returns of 8 % p.a. for a loan period of 4 years. Sawade is well known for its excellent quality. Because of its new look, our brand is well positioned for the future.

We want to make progress in a much faster and more target-oriented way than we could using our own resources. Thus, we are offering venture loans with an attractive loan period of 4 years and an above-average interest rate. Interest will be paid out semi-annually, and the entire investment amount will be repaid at the end of the loan period.



Sawade has more than 130 years of experience in the chocolate industry and has seen three centuries with all of their highs and lows. Still, one thing has remained constant: the strong and growing demand for chocolates and other chocolate products. Indeed, our market is hardly subject to fluctuation. Demand for chocolate within the market for sweets has also increased from 2005 to 2015.


Große runde Sawade-Pasteten
Large, Round Sawade Pastries 


About Sawade

Sawade is the oldest Berlin chocolate factory that still exists, so it is an authentic Berlin brand. The company was founded at "Unter den Linden" in Berlin in 1880. Back then, chocolates were considered precious delicacies for the upper class, and Sawade supplied the Prussian court with its products. Until the 1990s, Sawade was known all over Germany for its high-quality chocolates, excellent quality, and sophisticated production methods. Then, however, consumers increasingly focused on low prices, and Sawade sank into oblivion.


Sawade Greeting Card from 1929


In spite of this trend, Sawade has always adhered to its core value: high-quality ingredients and products. Consequently, Sawade is still known for its traditional, high-quality chocolates and truffles that are made solely in the company's Berlin production facilities. The areas of sales, brand management, and efficient operations, on the other hand, were neglected during this period. Despite its excellent products and an intact brand essence, Sawade thus became insolvent.


Insolvency as an Opportunity

When Melanie and Benno Hübel acquired Sawade in November 2013 during the company's insolvency, they noticed they had acquired a sleeping beauty. Benno Hübel, a chef and management expert by training, recognized both the products' superb quality and the weak spots in the company's management. Sawade's 50 employees were highly motivated and fully convinced of their products. Surrender was not an option to them. Nonetheless, the company's brand and communication strategy had to be reorganized. At that point, graphic designer Melanie Hübel started contributing her excellent skills. Connoisseurs considered Sawade a "well-known insider tip." Regular customers and experts knew that Sawade offered excellent quality. Nevertheless, the company hardly succeeded in attracting new customers and a younger target group. Indeed, the old chocolate boxes from the 70s through 90s rarely gave people the impression of quality and pleasure. Likewise, Sawade hardly addressed the market of tourists. All in all, it was apparent that Sawade had enormous potential.



What have we accomplished ever since we acquired Sawade (in 11/2013)?

  • An increase in revenues by approximately 30 %, i.e., from €3.1m to €4m, in the first complete fiscal year after the acquisition (2014/2015)
  • Introduction of the new, elegant, and high-quality line of packaging materials
  • Listing of Sawade products at 90 additional specialist retailers with more than 100 stores in Germany
  • Organization of two Sawade trade shows in Berlin
  • First successful exports to China, Japan, and Belgium
  • Development of factory outlet into another pillar of sales
  • Ten contracts with premium hotels (e.g., Kempinski Hotel Adlon) that use Sawade chocolates as a gift to their guests
  • Introduction of a corporate identity and a new branding
  • Creation of a sales forces consisting of 4 people
  • Introduction of an inventory management system
  • Launch of version 1.0 of the Sawade online store and the website
  • Training of own professionals started by hiring the company's first two apprentices
  • Optimization of quality management by own quality manager


Left: Old Appearance with Nougat Box and Flyer
Right: New Appearance with Nougat Box, Guarantee Certificate, and Catalog

Sawade specializes in producing traditional chocolates, truffles, and other chocolate specialties individually and in small series. Our products target gourmets who appreciate high quality and people who are looking for genuine regional products. Sawade presents its products using a design that conveys these values and combines tradition and modernity.


Our formula for success is maintaining high quality while (boldly) changing our appearance


Abbildung: Die neuen, kleinen Schachteln aus der Berlin-Serie von SawadeThe New, Small Boxes from the Sawade Berlin Series


The result has been our new line of packaging materials. This line uses traditional elements, for instance the original, hand-drawn Sawade logo, and combines them with timeless elegance, modernity, and surprising elements. Melanie: "We wanted to abandon the rather uniform image of conventional chocolates and try something new. After only a few weeks, we knew we had made the right decision. The new line thrilled both regular customers and people previously unfamiliar with Sawade." In fact, the new boxes were so popular that some flavors and motives were sold out after a few weeks. A pop-up store, which we had opened at Hackescher Markt in downtown Berlin as a test, became a profitable location in no time. This shows that tourism also offers great potential for Sawade. 


Sawade Store am Hackeschen MarktSawade Pop-up Store at Hackescher Markt in February 2015


Traditional Ingredients and Production Processes

Sawade is one of the few companies that really make all of their products themselves; all products are handmade with loving care. Sawade refuses to compromise its recipe standards. We use solely high-quality natural ingredients, such as real butter and fresh cream, the finest nougat, the best marzipan, caramelized nuts, and homemade ganache, which we cover in fine dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.

Abbildung: Sawade Walnuss-Marzipan frisch schokoliertFreshly Coated Sawade Walnut Marzipan


Needless to say, we use neither palm oil nor soy in our products. Moreover, we make our fillings in the traditional fashion. We are especially proud of our handmade Blätterkrokant (a typically German type of brittle) because there are only a few confectionery makers left who still know how to make it. We deliberately do not use any chemical additives, artificial flavors, or cheap substitutes. We always stick to this policy even if it means reduced shelf life. Indeed, our specialties taste best when they are still fresh. Moreover, there is already an abundance of mass-produced products made for long shelf life in supermarkets.


Chocolate-Coated Coconut Flakes


For our marzipan chocolates and specialties, we use solely 100 % marzipan paste. We make our marzipan from high-quality Mediterranean almonds. This marzipan is a natural mixture of sweet and bitter almonds. Roasted in traditional copper kettles, the marzipan is full of character, has a smooth texture, and is not overly sweet.

Benno Hübel, Owner & Managing Director

Benno is both a chef and a management expert by training. At Sawade, he supervises the company's strategy and organization. Within less than two years, he has helped Sawade make a comeback as a strong brand in the sweets industry. A chef by training, he has a passion for culinary delights, exquisite ingredients, and high quality. He has accepted the challenge of preserving this traditional Berlin company and making it successful again. While doing so, he focuses on adapting the traditional craft of producing chocolates to modern-day sales channels.



Melanie Hübel, Owner & Head of Marketing/Branding

Melanie Hübel is a graphic designer and a true Berliner. As a child, Melanie had already enjoyed Sawade chocolates at her grandmother's house. She is motivated to preserve the craft of producing confectionery and the Sawade brand. When she acquired Sawade together with Benno in 2013, she revised the company's corporate identity and branding and restructured the Sawade brand. At Sawade, Melanie focuses on preserving the brand essence consisting of high quality, elegance, and surprising products. 





Kai Dombrowski, Commercial Director & Authorized Signatory

The commercial director of Sawade, Kai Dombrowski is in charge of finances, purchasing, and legal issues. He prepares budget plans, takes care of controlling, negotiates contracts on marzipan and nougat with suppliers, works on the MS Dynamics Navision ERP system we introduced a year ago, and improves processes.





Thorsten Roprecht, Sales Director

Thorsten Roprecht is the head of our sales force consisting of three employees. He has been thrilled by the quality of Sawade chocolates for a long time. When he got the chance of participating in the brand's restructuring, he moved from Heidelberg to Berlin. As a result, our sales force now visits and advises our specialist retailers on a regular basis. In addition, Thorsten promotes the acquisition of new customers and the development of new sales channels, for instance hotels.




Das Sawade-TeamPart of our Sawade Production Team | Center: Master Confectioner Frank Pohl, Head of Production


Frank Pohl, Head of Production

The Sawade production team is both experienced and determined. Many of its members have been working for Sawade for more than 25 years. They are confectioners and sweets experts. Some of them started their career in our production line. Today, they are proud team leaders who know numerous chocolate and truffle recipes by heart and have recently started training new and young team members again. These old hands also use their experience and skills to make freehand drawings of our traditional decorations. In addition, they fill, layer, stir, cover, roughen, and garnish our products in a passionate and industrious fashion. 

Sawade produces and sells high-quality chocolates, truffles, and other chocolate specialties. We sell these products through the following sales channels:

Specialist Retailers

We generate approximately 50 % of our revenues in the specialist retail sector and want to continuously increase this share. Peak season in this sector begins in September and ends on Mother's Day (in mid-May). During this season, Christmas and Easter are particularly important, and Sawade offers special product lines for both holidays.

Gross profits in the specialist retail sector exceed 70 %. By our definition, this sector also includes B2B sales to companies that do not resell our products (e.g., hotels, organizations, embassies). This new sector is marked by above-average growth and is highly profitable. Customers appreciate our chocolates and other chocolate specialties for special occasions and as a gift to customers and guests. Sawade still has great potential in this area.


Sawade Stores, Factory Outlet, and Online Store

Sawade is operating two stores of its own in Berlin-Wilmersdorf and Berlin-Charlottenburg, both of which are profitable businesses. Our stores generate gross profits of over 70 %.

In addition to our stores, we are operating a factory outlet directly next to our production facilities in Berlin-Reinickendorf, and we considerably expanded this outlet over the last months. Our factory outlet is an important way of selling products with visible errors and overstock (e.g., seasonal articles). Our factory outlet is highly profitable and also generates a gross profit exceeding 70 %. Moreover, sales in our factory outlet are growing by 30 % every year.

Sawade still has a loyal customer base from the past that orders products via fax or phone from all over Germany. Very recently, we also introduced our online store. This store has already started being successful, and the net shopping cart value is more than €50 on average. We plan to significantly expand and optimize this sales channel.


Made-to-Order Products

Made-to-order products make up approximately 25 % of our revenues. This area includes orders that we handle on behalf of customers, using their own ingredients and recipes. Through such orders, which are not our primary strategic focus, we can operate our production facilities at full capacity during the growth stage and enjoy advantages in terms of purchasing. Gross profits in this segment are roughly 50 %, so they are much lower than they are for our own products.

Chocolate Consumption per Capita in Germany


The Market for Sweets: How About More Premium Products?

Demand for high-quality chocolate products in Germany is increasing. According to the Association of the German Confectionery Industry, the domestic supply of sweets in Germany amounted to approx. €9.43bn in 2014 (up by 1.3 % from the previous year). Based on the figures of the IRI sweets monitor [Süßwarenmonitor], the segment of chocolates accounted for approximately €1.14bn of this amount in 2014, and the trend is pointing upward.

Sawade's classic core target groups are traditional middle-class milieus and the so-called conservative establishment (based on the Sinus Milieus). We want to retain these existing target groups and extend our target group to young and liberal milieus. Furthermore, we plan to address the target group of tourists who feel the need to enjoy a typical Berlin specialty or take such a specialty home as a souvenir. It is particularly remarkable that our new Berlin boxes sell very well throughout Germany. Indeed, one of our most successful specialist retailers is located in Heidelberg.


Abbildung: Die 40g Box und die 200g BoxThe 40g and 200g Boxes

Current Core Target Group:

  • More men than women
  • Age 50+
  • Part of the establishment and rather affluent
  • Traditional set of values
  • Average spending per purchase: €10 - €20
  • Average purchase frequency: 1-2 times a week
  • Regular customers rather than impulse buyers

Strategic Target Group:

  • Women and men
  • Age 30+
  • Intellectual elite
  • Values high quality
  • Part of the avant-garde in terms of consumption and style
  • In search of special, regional, and original products
  • High Internet affinity
  • In some cases: children of Sawade customers who are familiar with the quality


  • Easily understandable Berlin product (in terms of origin and motif)
  • Beautiful and/or exceptional packaging
  • Easily identifiable as a regional product
  • Transportable without risking damage


Sawade als perfektes SouvenirBerlin Tourists



07/2013: Sawade files for insolvency

11/2013: Benno Hübel acquires Sawade during its insolvency

01/2014: A new inventory management system is introduced

05/2014: Website is launched

08/2014: First Sawade trade show for confectionery retailers takes place

09/2014: Cooperation agreement with Komische Oper Berlin is made

09/2014: Relaunch of the new line of boxes and of the Sawade brand

10/2014: Expansion and reorganization of the factory outlet

11/2014: Pop-up store at Hackescher Markt in Berlin opens

05/2015: Sawade online store 1.0 is launched

06/2015: New, more detailed catalog is published; second Sawade trade show takes place

09/2015 (planned): Expansion of a store in the delicacy department of KaDeWe Berlin (the city's most famous department store)

10/2015 (planned): Opening of flagship store at Hackescher Markt Berlin

01/2016 (planned): Relaunch of Sawade online store and website

We want to use your investment for four different areas: marketing & sales, efficiency, purchasing, and product development.

Marketing & Sales

First of all, we will open a flagship store in Berlin. This store will enable people to experience Sawade again and get them excited about chocolates and other chocolate specialties made in Berlin. We have already found a suitable store at Hackescher Markt. Simultaneously, we will launch our new website and our significantly improved online store.


We will take a number of measures to cut costs. For instance, we will focus on energy efficiency. First, the production of chocolate products requires heat because the chocolate has to be liquid. Second, this production process requires cooling because chocolate has to solidify and because chocolates have to be stored in a cool environment (at 16-18 °C). We will improve both of the above systems by improving insulation and the exhaust systems of specific machines. In addition, we will convert our cooling systems into cold-water systems. This will save money and protect the environment at the same time.


We will use part of the total investment to increase our current assets, such as raw materials and packaging materials. Indeed, growth also causes an increase in the necessary current assets. This increase, in turn, will enable us to achieve economies of scale in purchasing.

Product Development

We are particularly proud of our numerous traditional recipes. Sawade will also sell traditional products rather than focus on short-lived fads in the future. We place much emphasis on maintaining this long tradition. Thus, we will keep developing our product range very carefully.

Sawade-Geschäftsführer Benno und Melanie HübelMelanie and Benno Hübel


You have considerable influence. Consequently, you can directly support us by telling people about Sawade and surprising your friends and business partners with Sawade products. Sawade products make great gifts for birthdays, for Christmas, for hosts, and on any other occasion. As Companists, you have an excellent network and good relationships with other people. Tell them about Sawade. And eat more chocolate, for CHOCOLATE MAKES YOU HAPPY!

Moreover, we will be grateful if you help us get in touch with nice retailers, exceptional stores, and friendly storekeepers whom you would like to sell Sawade products.

And if you have anything else in mind or want to provide us with your ideas and suggestions, feel free to contact us at any time. We are looking forward to your support in preserving Berlin's oldest producer of handmade chocolates. Sawade and its 50 employees will be truly grateful to you.

Sawade GmbH
Wittestraße 26e, 13509 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49-30-430 60-0



Online Store: 


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The acquisition of the offered securities and investments is associated with considerable risks and can lead to the complete loss of the invested assets. The expected yield is not guaranteed and may be lower. Whether it is a security or an asset investment can be seen in the description of the investment opportunity.
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