Day in the Life: Zsolt Stefkovics, owner of Fellow Creatures chocolate

This Edinburgh-based company makes ethically sourced and vegan chocolate

Published 15th Feb 2022
Updated 12 th Sep 2023

You’re either an early bird or a night owl. My toxic personality trait is being both. This may not sound that early, but our office is based just a couple of cobbled streets away from our New Town flat, so 7am still gives me enough time to have a slow morning while preparing for the day ahead at home. While still in bed, I do a five minute breathwork exercise and stretching to prevent me from reaching for my phone to check my inbox. Today is a late winter Friday, so I’m just a little bit more excited to see the sunrise inching its way towards an earlier start every morning.

I have been using a traditional moka pot to brew traditional, Italian-style espressos, which are slightly bitter and massively enjoyable with oat milk. The whole pot usually sees me through the morning. If I remember, I take vitamin D and Berocca supplements in a fizzy tablet form.

Once at my desk, I usually solve all high-priority tasks early on. Being a modern start-up, some of our colleagues are based remotely so we’re using Slack to communicate throughout the day. Later, I like getting operational tasks out the way. Before setting up my own business, my background was digital marketing so Fellow Creatures was built as a digital-first brand with most of our sales via our own online store. I cross-check inventory levels and liaise with our Glasgow-based fulfillment partner to make sure orders will be leaving the warehouse smoothly. I’m now free to shift into deep work mode and I can focus on aspects of the business that require more creative and strategic thinking.

Today, our manufacturer is starting on a large order for export into South Korea. In a quick Zoom call, we are touching base with the production manager to firm up the final details of the run. Having missed breakfast, I’m hungry so I treat myself to a celebratory Korean takeaway bibimbap and a quick leg-stretch along the river in Dean Village. We also just recently launched our new product Wowza - a premium twist on Nutella with 54 per cent freshly-roasted hazelnuts. The product has already gained lots of popularity in both the UK and Korea; there’s a clear demand for products with a very lean ingredient list and premium ingredients. With most people still working from home, it means they put much more effort into a nice breakfast. A great result of continuous lockdowns. With a renewed gust of energy, I blast through the remaining tasks that take me up to dinnertime.

While some find home cooking daunting after a busy day, I love offsetting a stressful day by being creative. Today, I’m making one of our favourite dishes, a peanut butter cauliflower curry - one of the recipes I know by heart. During cooking I catch up on my podcasts or listen to some smooth jazz.

I try not to open my emails after this time to help my brain relax. In the evenings, I watch a documentary and fail multiple times at not opening my emails again.

See or Instagram: @fellowcreaturesuk

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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