A Leicestershire chocolate company, which started during the coronavirus lockdown last year, is getting ready to open its first shop.
Narborough-based Indulgent Chocolates will be launching a shop in Bath Street, Ashby de la Zouch, selling a range of delicious chocolate creations.
Indulgent Chocolates was launched in May 2020 by Keith Tiplady, and originally started out as a hobby.
According to Keith, he was trying to make use of a chocolate tempering machine that he had bought his wife, to help with her home baking business.
Then, a month later, the father-of-two was made redundant from his role as a program manager at Triumph, so needed to ramp up the business to ensure that he was able to continue to pay the bills, along with his wife, who works for the NHS.
Keith decided to focus on tempered Belgian chocolate slabs, which are available in different sizes, with fillings such as caramel, cookie dough, peanut butter, flavoured ganache or Biscoff spread, and a large range of toppings.
Orders were initially taken over Facebook and Instagram, before the Indulgent Chocolates website was launched late last year.
“I was able to secure a contract for 3,030 tempered Belgian chocolate slabs for a corporate client, Leonard Cheshire, who wanted to give their staff gifts to say thank you for their hard work that year,” Keith told LeicestershireLive. “This enabled me to upgrade to a much larger tempering machine (7kg capacity vs 0.9kg).
“Part-way through completing the large order, I was featured on BBC News and received 200 orders in just an couple of hours! Between then and the day before Christmas Eve I worked seven days a week to complete all the orders in time for Christmas, with the help of my wife who was also working full time for the NHS. In the last two days before the final postage deadline I was awake for 46 hours straight ensuring that I was able to have the final orders packaged in time!”
Now, with the business having grown rapidly over the past few months, Keith says he needs more space to prepare and store the chocolates.
“Instead of renting premises to prepare the chocolates, opening a shop to make and sell them in seemed far more exciting. I also felt that if Indulgent Chocolates was going to not only allow me to contribute to the bills but instead give me an income similar to my previous role I needed to take the business to the next level.
“Opening an Indulgent Chocolates shop, filled with chocolate products, not just chocolate slabs, appealed to me and I hope will appeal to chocoholics near and far!
“Ashby has a thriving high street, with a great array of shops, visited by both locals and people from surrounding areas. Ashby is just over 30 minutes’ commute from Narborough, so when a property became available in a prime location on the high street, it seemed the ideal opportunity to set up the shop, with a lot of help from my family!”
Indulgent Chocolates in Bath Street, Ashby, is set to open in mid-April.