A chocolate shop in Marks Tey has opened its doors to sweet-toothed members of public who can try their arm at creating the product themselves.
The shop, located at Poplar Nurseries garden centre, opened last week and owner of the Chappel Chocolate House, Sarah Knights, is ready to cater for our cravings.
Listing chocolate celebrity Paul Young as an inspiration to her work, Sarah aims to deliver the highest quality within her services, which include demonstrations, workshops and team-building exercises.
The product can take up to 3 days to sculpt and on a good day Sarah can turn over a thousand truffles, but, with only 2 people working in the shop at any given moment, it can be challenging.
“Having to temper the chocolate, run the shop and manage the business is very hard.
“It’s a labour of love at the moment, but one I am passionate about and am enjoying”
Following a part-time course at Colchester Institute College, where one module involved making chocolate, Mrs Knights’ interest in the product grew.
She attended the UK Chocolate Masters event in London following the course, where big brands within the industry, such as Belgian chocolatiers Callebaut, were in attendance.
“I just fell into it,” she says, “In 2012 I was asked to run a chocolate stall at a fete at a local pub, people enjoyed it and my neighbour asked me to do a children’s party.
“I loved it so much I decided to set up my own business.
“I hosted more events and began to make more of my own chocolate at home.”
Opening the product to a wider audience, Mrs Knights can cater for vegans and aims in the future to use alternatives to dairy, such as fruit juices.
Sarah’s shop can be located in the car park at Poplar Nurseries garden centre.