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In Chocolat Chocolat heaven: taste of success goes national

Isabelle Chappell, chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Chocolat. Picture: Keith Heppell
Isabelle Chappell, chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Chocolat. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cambridge shop to sell chocolate in selected outlets countrywide

Chocolat Chocolat is a destination for discerning chocolate lovers far and wide – and now Cambridge’s award-winning independent shop is taking its taste to the nation.

The latest range of delights is on the shelves of the St Andrew’s Street shop in time for the seasonal rush and there is good news for those who don’t live within striking range of Cambridge – the chocolates will be on sale in selected farm shops and delicatessens around the country.

Isabelle Chappell, chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Chocolat, said: “We want to be Cambridge’s favourite chocolate shop but people have been asking if they can buy our chocolates elsewhere, so we are becoming a little bit more national.”

The staff in Cambridge will be working flat out until the end of trading on Christmas Eve to keep pace with the demand for their artisan treats.

Isabelle said: “We’ve seen an increase since the beginning of December and it won’t stop until the 24th. People have been knocking on our doors after we closed on Christmas Eve in previous years and we’ve opened up for them.

“For many people, buying our chocolate has become a Christmas tradition. They have their Christmas dinner, they relax and in the evening they sit down with a coffee or a glass of wine and our chocolates.”

And it isn’t just chocolate that is flying off the shelves – gift certificates are perfect for ‘making and tasting’ courses for people who want to learn how to make chocolates for themselves, or as a first step for the novice wanting to become a professional chocolatier.

“We have about 1,000 people a year on our chocolate courses. People are very keen on them – we’ve had some who have been on three courses,” said Isabelle.

Chocolat Chocolat is famous for its handmade sheet chocolate, made with the finest Belgian chocolate in a unique French style by Isabelle. The business started in 2009 and has its finger on the pulse of changing tastes in chocolate.

“People’s tastes have evolved and we have kept up with that,” said Isabelle. “People used to think that the only good chocolate was strong dark chocolate. Now we have fantastic quality milk chocolate and white chocolate too: we have just received our first Handmade Chocolate Great Taste Award for our White Madagascan Café Latte.”

Chocolat Chocolat employs nine people and is a sponsor of the Cambridge Independent Employee Awards – businesses can nominate a member of staff who has gone above and beyond their duties to receive special recognition.

“Cambridge has supported us. Many of the businesses have asked us to supply them with chocolates and it’s only right that we should put something back,” said Isabelle.

To nominate someone for an award, simply go online at cambridgeindependent.co.uk and fill in the form.

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