• Marianna Herold

Our story

Hello and welcome! Glad you popped by.

I founded Hullabaloo as Mama and the Chocolate Factory in May 2018 out of a sheer frustration with all the rubbish filled kids treats out there. Not sure how many people read the nutritional labels of these things but the commercial chocolates aimed at kids (won’t name any brands) contain a whopping 50-60% sugar. Not to mention the other nasties they contain.

Like all parents I know, I limit the amount of treats my kids get. I admit to even trying to escape from birthday parties before the junk filled bags come out. Kids are getting a bit old for that trick but I did have a few successful years doing it. Avoiding chocolate treats is a bummer though because there is nothing quite like the excitement a child gets when you have promised them a candy bar. It is not just kids even, I would love to eat filled candy bars if I didn’t have to worry about my teeth falling out, my waistline, diabetes, autoimmune disorder, energy levels and cancer. Having a chocolate treat together with your kids is just a magical moment and it is a bummer to have to avoid it.

So I set about thinking about how to solve this problem. There must be a better way to make filled chocolate bars. I mulled over recipes for months in my kitchen with batches of chocolate so gritty you could use them for exfoliation. After months they started getting better and I started handing them out . First to friends and family, then to other families at school, finally to strangers on the street. Kids loved them, parents loved them, grannies loved them. Goodness even my 20-something year old wine tasting friends loved them.

PS Oh who am I?

I think like many self-professed foodies, I have been obsessing about starting a food business since I can remember. On my quest for self-fulfilment I have studied cooking, wine, photography and even how to milk goats. (yes- that was a bit ick!). I never quite had the guts to take the leap.

How I got here has been anything but linear. I started my professional life as a supply chain researcher in 2002, a journey, which culminated in my PhD in 2007. I moved to London to pursue a consulting career but burned out. In 2009 my then partner and I packed up and drove to Cape Town from London. Adventure of note! I arrived in Cape Town planning to make goats cheese and start a coffee shop. I started a foodblog, Cape Town by Mouth publishing my recipes and writing (brutally) honest reviews about restaurants.

I had two beautiful boys, Tom (9) and Luke (6) and gave up on my foodie dream. After having kids, I worked as a freelance sustainability consultant for a big grocery chain convincing myself that it would be foodie enough for me. Like most mums, motherhood left its marks on my energy levels (and my waistline!) so I decided to quit sugar. This was major change for me.. I was known as someone who would order two desserts at dinner. The seven-week sugar detox is one of the best decisions I ever made.

Life brought me back to London in 2017 looking again to work for a big corporate. Like so many mums I know, I struggled to reconcile the concept of working and travelling with my vision of motherhood. I think the 9-5 model is dead. Here is to taking the leap!

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