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Fancy a Cornish clay and chocolate facial?

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 20, 2013

By Catherine Barnes

facemasks

Jim Campbell and Hana Suldovska of Lostwithiel Ozindas show off some of their Hasslacher-branded products including a chocolate and Cornish china clay face mask

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Cornish clay and Columbian cocoa are the key ingredients of a beauty range, launched by a Lostwithiel start-up company.

Jim Campbell and Hana Suldovska are behind Ozindas Limited, which launched in business by importing a South American drinking chocolate.

The chocolate is manufactured and packaged for the micro-company in Bogota, under its own brand name, Hasslacher's.

The brand has taken the name of the business's third partner, Simon Hasslacher, described by Mr Campbell as "a modern-day Phileas Fogg," who lives in the Columbian capital.

Launched at the Eden Project last year, the chocolate is generating increasing numbers of stockists leads and generating around £4,000 in sales every month.

"We discovered there is huge demand for the product," said Mr Campbell.

Squares from the solid blocks of 100% cacao are melted down in milk to create a hot drink, which is the national beverage in Columbia.

Aware of the antioxidant properties of the foodstuff, the couple were then inspired to apply it to a beauty range.

The company approached Goonvean in St Austell – now part of minerals giant Imerys – to manufacture and supply cosmetics-quality china clay for its face masks.

"They were happy to do so," said Mr Campbell. "They supply big companies, but never a small company based in Cornwall, in this way."

The face packs come with squares of Ozindas' chocolate, which must be melted down and mixed with the powdered clay, to make up the mask.

"It's an effective way of drawing out impurities in the skin; the chocolate contains flavanoides and antioxidants and is organic," said Mr Campbell.

The company has also produced a seaweed variety of the china-clay beauty product and is currently working with the Tregothnan estate on the Roseland Peninsula, to create a Cornish-grown green tea face mask.

The beauty products are already being sold at Eden, Heligan, Rick Stein's Padstow gift shop and National Trust shops, along with "numerous" independents, with the company currently in discussion with a number of distributors nationwide.

Mr Campbell, who has a background in public relations and brand licensing and relocated to Cornwall from London a year ago, said: " Even though we are a start up, we have ambitious aims for the products."

He added that the business had "gone down the Cornwall route" in terms of branding and marketing, saying: "Cornwall as a brand does travel quite well – people like the provenance."

The Columbian ambassador was guest of honour at the Hasslacher's chocolate launch last year. The chocolate is a key economy driver for the country, although most is consumed by a domestic market or exported for expatriot communities overseas.

"It's quite unusual for a British company to do what we are doing," said Mr Campbell. "The ambassador was very keen to support us."

The company has just launched a third product, Panela, at the Eden Project.

Panela is sugar cane juice, which is set into solid blocks.

With a mild, caramel-like flavour, it contains vitamins and minerals that are stripped out of sugar during the refining process. In South America, it is pulverised and blended with freshly squeezed limes and crushed ice to make a refreshing drink for hot summer days; Agua de Panela.

"We are currently discussing it as a new natural sports drink," said Mr Campbell, "but this will be for next summer."

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