The Entrepreneurship Hatchery  ☰ 

Anna Janes

President and Founder, Cocomira Confections Inc.

Anna was making chocolates for friends and family eleven years ago, when her chocolate/toffee/hazelnut creation ended up in the office of the buyer for Indigo/chapters. He called up and placed an order for $10,000 worth of ‘Hazelnut Crunch’. Anna made that first order in her kitchen and paid her 8 year old son $100 to move out of his bedroom, so she had a place to store the finished product.

Cocomira has come a long way since then. Right now Anna owns a factory in south Etobicoke and employs 15 staff who are making chocolate for shipments across Canada, into the US, and overseas to Japan, Singapore and UAE (United Arab Emirates). Cocomira creates six flavors of an all-natural gourmet chocolate that sells into retailers such as Metro, Rexall Drugs, Indigo Chapters and Whole Foods Market.

Confectionary is a crowded market but Anna identified an underserviced niche eight years ago and made Cocomira products gluten free. This unique positioning differentiates Cocomira and enables it to compete successfully against large confectionary companies, who can’t create a gluten free product.

Prior to starting her business, Anna had another career as an editorial art director for Outside Magazine in Chicago and Canadian Business Magazine. Reading about business and photographing business owners inspired her to complete an MBA at The Ivey School of Business in London, ON. After graduating she worked as a consultant helping organizations identify and strengthen their sales cultures.

When Anna’s not at work, she’s spending time with family and friends, cooking, walking local trails or swimming.