A cocoon of chocolate!
I honestly don't think it's possible to pass Huttons Chocolates and not stop to dreamily gaze at their window display! The pretty display of sweet treats makes your mouth water and you just can't resist going in!
I'm stood inside the chocolate cocoon that is Huttons and silently wondering if I can justify testing everything! In the interest of research of course!
It's time to chat chocolate with Kay!
(Between you and me, I'm hoping to be made an honorary tester 😉)
Tell us the story behind your fabulous shop!
Sarah have you lost weight?!
(I'm not kidding these were the first words from Kay's mouth! I'm taking that not only as a compliment but also as permission to eat more chocolate - Thank you Kay! 😀)
Anyway, to back to the story...
We wanted the opportunity to run a small family business that would put our catering background to good use and to also involve our love for chocolate.
(A love I share! 😍)
Hutton's was established in 1901(!) and we took over the shop in 2003 having never been in retail before and ready for a new adventure!
A while later, Stefan decided to take on the role of making the chocolates on a small scale and went on a course to learn! His Mother's Swiss origins might have had something to do with it! Since then we've made our own chocolates.
We went on to expand the business by introducing our chocolates to local hotels and now we have relationships with over 40 local businesses!
Where does the magic happen?
We have our own workshop where Stefan works his magic.
During high season we're continually producing! We have three tempering machines, one for milk chocolate, one for dark and one for white, and hundreds of moulds!
What's your personal favourite?
Ooooh our handmade truffles...
(Kay drifts off into a chocolate dreamworld while she tries to decide on her favourite one!)
Champagne truffle! Yes that's my favourite! 😀
(Her excitement gives me the impression she'll be indulging the moment I leave!)
What's the customer's favourite?
Definitely our sticky toffee pudding chocolate! I mean who doesn't like sticky toffee pudding?!
Be honest, do you eat chocolate every day?!
It's the question I get asked the most! I never get sick of chocolate and I have some with my morning coffee and afternoon coffee.
(I'm tempted to adopt this routine...I think I'd be smiling just as much as Kay 😀)
What do you like most about working in the Lakes?
It has to be the people.
We meet so many people from different places, and we have a fabulous local following. Our regulars often visit to buy their usual or simply pop in for a natter, we like to catch up with them and give a friendly experience every time they visit. It's the beauty of independent retailers.
Describe your typical day off
My day off involves some work!
I catch up on jobs outside of the shop, I run deliveries to people, just yesterday I was delivering to Grasmere Gingerbread where we supply them with our chocolates.
I catch up with friends and I love time with my new Granddaughter Primrose! She's 6 months old and a real little miss sunshine!
I love simple things,what's your simple pleasure?
An evening walk after work is my simple pleasure.
It's the start of my time out after a day in the shop and we're in the perfect place for walking! I also love family time, and, a glass of something pink is a real simple pleasure.
What's new at Huttons?
We have lots of new ideas in the pipeline so watch his space!
We're currently creating edible chocolate bowls for a company called Black Milk Cereal in Manchester!
Our latest creation for the shop is our mermaid chocolate bar. A bar of milk chocolate decorated with peals, seahorses and sparkles!
(What's not to like about that?!)
Any words of chocolatey wisdom for our readers?
Huttons truffles are health food for the soul.
And finally, do you need a taste tester?
(Obviously she doesn't realise I'm quite serious!)
You'll have to join the queue!
(Apparently it's a long one!)
Did you know?
Huttons can help you with wedding favours for your special day in the Lakes!
Get ordering to spoil your guests!
You have even more excuses to enjoy Huttons Chocolates because they make their own Easter eggs and seasonal novelty items 😁
If you're not in the Lake District but can't resist treating yourself, Huttons sell their delicious treats on their website!
You can follow them on social media!
(I promise you mouth watering photo's and chocolate cravings!)
A big chocolate smudged thank you to Kay!
If our chat has left you with chocolate cravings, get yourself down to Huttons now!
If you see me there, tell no-one - what happens in Huttons, stays in Huttons!😉
Well, that's it from me and my chocolate cocoon.
I should probably leave and allow Kay to consider my taste tester offer...
It's definitely time for hot chocolate!
It's 11 am, the delicious smell of chocolate is in the air and there's already a bustle of excitement in Choccobar!
Customers struggle to choose a flavour and the well choreographed Choccobar team are working their magic.
I'm a regular customer here, not too regular - although I do own a loyalty card... and the hot chocolate here comes with fruit! (One of your five a day and all that! 😉)
So as I settle in and breath in the chocolatey air, I'm going to talk all things hot chocolate with Mark!
What was the inspiration behind Choccobar?
(Mark rubs his tummy and grins, I think I already know the answer to this question! Yes he loves Chocolate - who doesn't?)
When we visit Slovakia, it's obvious that socialising in coffee shops is a big part of every day life for the friendly locals. I love their thick hot chocolate and it makes me reminisce over old skiing trips and hot chocolate thick enough to stand a spoon in!😀
(This I like!)
Between my love for hot chocolate and Slovakian hot chocolate, the idea for Choccobar was conceived!
We wanted to be part of a visitor attraction and the heart of Bowness was the perfect location! After three months of playing with hot chocolate to discover the right recipe and method, (Sounds good to me!) we talked about flavourings and consulted a flavourologist about our ideas.
We're proud to be able to say we use our own flavour range rather than syrups.
What's your most unusual flavour?
We have a friend who cooks with chocolate and created a dish of pan fried chocolate venison, so we thought 'why not?!'
We also do smoky bacon flavour!
Is there a customer favourite?
Salted caramel and hazelnut are the favourites but the top ten includes venison, amaretto, coconut, orange and mint.
We like to encourage different flavours so we offer samples when people want to try something new. We can even change the intensity of our flavours so there's something for everyone!
Do you indulge in a daily dose of hot chocolate?
We have to taste our chocolate, it's called quality control. (Any excuse Mark!) Tasting it also satisfies the craving so we're not drinking it all day!
Have you ever been tempted to drink hot chocolate straight from the bainmarie?... or is it just me?
As I bend my head awkwardly to illustrate what I mean, Mark simply laughs and replies
(Obviously I'm taking that as a yes)
What's your favourite thing about working in the Lakes?
Our customers are interested in what we do and how we do it! It's great to see people being happy in their chocolate heaven and who doesn't love to see a chocolate smile on the kidders face. Not to mention the adults!
Describe a typical day off?
They still involve work!
We have work to do behind the scenes and the usual chores at home. The highlight though is having a meal together and spending time with each-other out of work.
Simply Sarah loves the simple things, what's your simple pleasure?
A good chin wag with family.
We're in the Lakes and we have family in Slovakia and North Lancashire so catching up with them is a real pleasure.
On the work side, seeing our customers appreciate what we do means a real lot.
What's new at Choccobar?
We're always creating new waffles for 'waffle of the week'. This week we have Oreo waffle!
Just recently for Father's day we ran a giveaway, twice during the day a random alarm sounded and the Dad/Grandad closest to being served won a waffle overload of their choice!
Two dads had an amazing waffle filled fathers day!
You've heard of wine tasting, what about hot chocolate tasting?
Hi I'm Sarah!
Blogger in The Lakes
I live in the beautiful Lake District...
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