Cocobean: a big family led by two wonderful women
Before Theresa Streefland opened Cocobean in early 2008, she’d spent seven months learning the ins and outs of a dedicated chocolatier and crafting our brand now known far and wide.
The mother of three had spent much of her adult life volunteering, and saw Cocobean as an opportunity to make her own mark – which we could all probably agree Theresa’s done!
Theresa now spends a lot of time overseeing the Cocobean kitchen, and stepping in when one of our three permanent chocolatiers are unavailable. Otherwise, you’ll find Theresa managing day-to-day tasks, hanging out at the Cocobean store and dreaming up the next delicious thing.
“I am constantly researching new trends and coming up with new ideas. This needs to happen to keep the brand exciting and fresh,” says Theresa.
“Can’t wait to one day go overseas and check out the chocolate shops in Paris, London, Switzerland and Belgium for even more inspiration.”
Of course, Theresa couldn’t quite have built Cocobean to where it is today without help. Her daughter, Chantelle has been at her side since day one.
“It was awesome having someone I knew and who was excited for what I had begun, to be on my team. Chantelle’s role as Store Manager ended when she became a mum herself and since then we have created a role for her to fit into and she has the flexibility to work her own hours. I owe her that much, I would never have been able to do it on my own,” says Theresa.
Working so closely with a relative spells danger for many, and while this mother-daughter duo admits to having the occasional disagreement, they’ve forged a balanced, professional partnership through good communication.
"Working with mum is great. I love getting the chance to spend time with her in this environment and it's rewarding having the chance to work in the business and get the first hand experience of running one, I feel like it's more rewarding then my past experiences with the work place." Chantelle says.
Chantelle’s own children, aged five and two, have added to Theresa’s expansive family: when she and her 10 siblings organised their mother’s 80th birthday last year in Western Australia, 100 immediate family members attended - with many from overseas unable to make it. Now that’s a lot of chocolate!
Speaking of, we asked Theresa what her favourite Cocobean product is (or if in fact this was even possible!).
“Well that could change every day. Yesterday it was the Florentine, the day before was our amazing Whisky chocolate (we use Lark Whisky in it) and last two weeks ago it was our praline bunnies,” she says.
In case you have a mum with changing taste, we suggest you come in and make up your own selection of Cocobean for Mother’s Day. Otherwise, there are plenty of treats ready to go, plus gift vouchers and cards. You could even bring her in for our famous hot chocolate or lamington dessert jar in the week leading up to the big day (May 14, in case you forgot).
To all the mums out there, we wish you a happy Mother’s Day filled with plenty of cuddles and excellent chocolate. Theresa’s unsure of what she’ll be up to, but maybe Chantelle has something in store…