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A PROFILE ON THE CHOCOLATE BOX

Posted On: 2 Oct 2018

The Chocolate Box is one of the community of great independent retailers that have their business at The Piece Hall. We interviewed owner Jackie, to find out more about the specialist chocolate shop. 

 

How did the chocolate journey begin?

Having worked for over 20 years in the financial sector as a personal assistant, I took on a whole new venture and decided to open a chocolate concession within Eighteen at Northowram, this proved popular so I also approached The Engine Room at Dean Clough. This gave me an opportunity to ‘test’ the market. The feedback I received from customers at both locations was overwhelmingly positive, I loved meeting new people and so took the step to open my very own shop, which happens to be one of the smallest units in The Piece Hall and I think fits perfectly as a little chocolate box of treats!

I’m lucky to have a great little team to help me including my sister Karen and occasionally my husband David – it’s turned into a real family run business.

 

Why did you choose The Piece Hall?

I was drawn to The Piece Hall as it is such a unique building and remember spending many weekends here with my family as a child. I’m so passionate about this wonderful building – we have The Piece Hall branded chocolate lollies which are extremely popular! The footfall has been incredible and the reaction from the customers when they walk in the shop is fantastic and I love to see their expressions when they see the chocolates. I honestly don’t think my little shop would have done as well anywhere else.

 

Where are the chocolates made?

Most of the chocolates are made in Belgium, although I do also stock delicious Handmade English Chocolates, French Truffles, Irish Chocolates,  Dutch pastilles, South Devon Chille… the list could just go on and on!

 

What’s your best selling chocolate?

A difficult one… the salted caramel truffles are always popular in the pre-packed selection, but people really enjoy choosing a personalised mix of chocolates from the counter and make up their own little chocolate box.

I love the French salted caramel truffles… but a very close second is the Belgium cherry and marzipan.

 

You’ve been open over a year now, as has The Piece Hall, what’s been your favourite moment?

There have been so many… the absolute thrill of opening day, is something I’ll never forget and having The Dutchess of Cornwall pop into the shop while on the Royal visit was wonderful too. She commented saying that it was a wonderful shop!

 

Excited for Christmas?

Of course! We had such a great time last year… the atmosphere, everything was perfect. I can’t wait to do it all again.  I have some great chocolate ideas including an advent calendar which you can pick your own chocolates to go behind the doors, chocolate hampers, festive figures, delicious yule logs and cute christmas puddings. It’s going to be very festive in here!

 

You’ve had a chocolate fountain on occasions, will it make another appearance?

We usually run the fountain on Saturdays over the school holidays… but have extended this to every Saturday during Autumn/Winter. Customers can purchase a marshmallow stick with or without fruit for £2 and have it lathered in melted Belgian chocolate! The smell alone seems to lure people into The Chocolate Box.

 

What’s next for The Chocolate Box?

We’ve just taken delivery of our own branded gift boxes for both the Belgian and English chocolates and are really pleased with how great they look (and taste)! We’re also stocking some new flavoured gin truffles, which I’m sure will go down a treat with the current gin craze – I’m going to create a mini gin bar display in the shop which will include the very popular rhubarb flavoured gin chocolate!

Keep an eye out for seasonal changes in the shop including Halloween and Easter. Obviously, it is very difficult to have a chocolate shop in the summer, especially after the heatwave of a summer we had this year, so we brought in Just Jenny’s Ice Cream to add to the offer too!

Supported by
The Piece Hall heritage regeneration project is also supported by Garfield Weston Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation.
The Piece Hall is independently managed by The Piece Hall Trust, a registered charity, number 1156948. Registered in England and Wales, number 08906735.
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