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Wicked Bold Chocolate CEO and Comedian Deric Cahill on Why it Pays to Be Funny

The brand leans into humor, but the business' success is no laughing matter, with products in nearly 2,000 retail locations nationwide.
| |Photography courtesy of Wicked Bold Chocolate
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Clean Bean: Entrepreneurs Deric Cahill and his wife Brooklynn make dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate. Wicked Bold Chocolate

If you tune in as one of Deric Cahill’s 1.1 million tiktok or 300,000-plus instagram followers, you know that he has irreverent and hilarious takes on life and parenting and an ongoing national comedy tour, with three sold-out shows. But you may have to look a little harder for another of his significant successes: Wicked Bold Chocolate.

The company’s vegan, gluten-free, bite-size squares of 70 percent dark chocolate include just four ingredients and come in flavors like cayenne, hazelnut, and sea salt. The products are in nearly 1,900 retail locations nationwide, including Walmart and Sprouts.

But Cahill’s dual successes in chocolate and comedy didn’t come easy. The Boston native (hence, “Wicked,” commonly used as a synonym for “very” in New England) moved to Florida when he was 16 and has long had an entrepreneurial itch. Past ventures include an auto detailing business, a home internet installation service, and a short-lived startup where he sold boxes of dirt with vulgar messages that customers could buy and send to their least favorite neighbor or coworker.

“I’ve learned this over the years: There’s nothing inherently you can’t go do,” Cahill says. “You can do anything. Many people let the fear of striking out or not having enough resources hold them back.”

Fortunately for Cahill, his social media success gave him an advantage over the average aspiring chocolatier: he already had hundreds of thousands of followers—or, as he viewed them, potential customers—who would tune in to social media to watch him and his wife, Brooklynn, make chocolate. Cahill’s banter and reactions in his posts kept things entertaining through the R&D process.

He founded Wicked Bold in 2019 and launched direct-to-consumer and farmers market sales. Three years later, Whole Foods put Cahill’s chocolate in 14 stores. Come 2023, he quit his day job and Walmart and Sprouts came on board as customers. (Whole Foods no longer carries the product.) Wicked Bold reported $50,000 in sales in 2021 and $605,000 last year.

Getting the company to this point has been far from rainbows and sunshine, but Cahill says reflection and persistence have been key. “Learning is such a blessing because the only way you can learn is to fall down and scrape your knees,” he says. “I’m not always sure what steps to take, but I’ve learned over the years that any step is the right step. That’s what I do every day– figure out what steps I can take today.”  

Author

Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior writer for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…
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