Chico’s Chocos: A GL Sophomore’s Chocolate Business for Charity

Niko Wiguna’s chocolate bark business donates 100% of its proceeds to Note in The Pocket.


R. Butler

Niko Wiguna, creator of Chico’s Chocos, holding a box of his bark.

Niko Wiguna is a sophomore here at Green Level and the mastermind behind Chico’s Chocos. This chocolate bark business/fundraiser donates all of its profits to Note in the Pocket. Note in the Pocket is a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh that provides “quality clothing to homeless and impoverished children and families with dignity and love.” Niko mainly advertises and runs his business through Instagram, at @chicos.chocos, where he has amassed over 200 followers.

The idea to start a business came to Niko about 3-4 years ago. “My sister was getting mad bank from doing the Triangle Business Fair and I was wondering about an efficient way I could get money but also still do something I’m really passionate about,” he said. “The chocolate idea itself came from when it was my mom’s 40th birthday. I literally just melted chocolate, put it on parchment paper, and added oranges to it.” His mom was a big fan, so he knew he had struck gold. He initially wanted to do the Business Fair and make money for himself, but by that time he had aged out of it. As time went on, he realized his chocolate could not only turn him a profit but was a potential way he could help the community.

When asked why he chose to donate specifically to Note in the Pocket, he said “I joined this program called the Teen Board at Note in the Pocket, and they require us to do fundraising and stuff like that, so I was like, this is the perfect opportunity to use my chocolate business.” He said that they required him to fundraise at least $500, which intimidated him at first. Although, after testing the waters with his chocolate business, he knew it was the perfect way to reach this goal. Despite initially starting his business to make money for himself, Niko found there was a greater intrinsic reward from contributing to an important cause and having fun making chocolate.

Niko admirably donates 100% of of his profits from Chico’s Chocos to Note in the Pocket. When he was asked how he was able to do this he said, “I was trying to see how much my profits were in the beginning, because I used to sell two pouches of chocolate for $5, and I was getting like no profit out of it. Over time I was able to adjust my prices and quantities, and manage how to get ingredients of the highest quality for the lowest cost. Walmart is surprisingly very helpful.” It’s through this trial and error that he says he was able to get the most profit and therefore make the largest possible impact through his fundraising.

Niko’s business model is undoubtedly a fun and creative way to fundraise for a cause. Since his business’s official launch in September 2022, he’s created monthly flavors that each go along with a certain theme. He releases a flavor reveal on the 1st day of each month, along with a concept video in the following days, where he films himself making the new kind of bark. Niko says filming these videos is his favorite thing to do. “I used to make YouTube videos when I was little of Minecraft and stuff, and I sort of channeled that energy into Chico’s Chocos. Learning how to record all the clips for my concept videos and figuring out my editing style was so much fun.” He says that putting something out into the world that he’s proud of is really rewarding, especially when it’s for a good cause. After seeing Niko’s preview of each new flavor, buyers can place their order through the Google Form linked in his business’s bio, and can expect to receive their box of bark (delivered in person) in the following week. He also provides an option for a monthly subscription where you can receive a box of each new flavor as they are released for six months.

Niko has reached some impressive milestones in terms of his sales and donations. On December 25th, 2022, he reached $1,175 in sales of his chocolate bark (equating to 201 boxes), meaning he was able to donate $1,175 to Note in the Pocket. Many attribute his business’s success to his charismatic personality, vibrant Instagram feed, and of course, his quality chocolate bark.

This month’s flavor is “Coffee Biscoff”, made with dark and white chocolate, decaf coffee grounds, and Biscoff cookies. Niko’s already sold 45 boxes since the start of January, and you’ve probably seen them making their way around Green Level. His orders are filling up as loyal customers from previous months keep on coming back. January isn’t even over yet and his fundraising efforts are already impressive, as he raises his cumulative sales to $1,325.

In terms of the future of Chico’s Chocos, Niko says “In the beginning, I wasn’t getting many sales, but I was still thinking I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.” Though in the near future, Niko thinks that next year being his junior year could become stressful, so he may have to limit the amount of orders he takes. In terms of further down the line, he says “Looking at what I wanna do in the future, it would be really hard to continue Chico’s Chocos as my main career if I want to pursue other interests. It’s so scary to think about upsizing your business with factories and stuff like that. That’s a lot of responsibility. So I think that right now where I’m at, selling chocolate around my school, is the perfect spot” he says. Though his business is and will likely remain small-scale, Niko’s impact on his community is still big, and his generous spirit will remain with him no matter what career path he takes.