It’s been a busy year so far at Sweet P, as we recently opened our first chocolate and coffee shop, so apologies for our lack of blog posts! Until recently we had been working out of Pam’s registered kitchen at home, but as the business started growing, we quickly outgrew the small space that we had. Around this time a friend of ours (Sue from The Wise Old Crow) told us of a couple of units that were empty in The Strand Shopping Centre, formally Julia’s Arcade for those of you who are local to the area. After much back and forth we eventually signed the contracts and started fitting the shop out. We spent a lot of time searching Parisian chocolate shops and boutiques on Pinterest for design inspiration. As Dan has a graphic design background he created a 3D mock up of how we wanted the shop to look in order to give us a clear direction.
Dan’s dad, Steve, very kindly donated his time and skills to fit the shop out with our hindrance help. Finally, after a lot of hard work and more exercise than any of us are used to we had our opening night with a chocolate fountain and lots of pink bubbly; it was any chocolate lovers’ dream and a lovely way to celebrate the start of our new chapter.
We hand-make all of our chocolate on site and you can even see us hard at work through our viewing area window. As well as chocolate we now offer a selection of espresso based drinks as we are fully barista trained, and we recently added a selection of iced coffee frappés and old-fashioned milkshakes to our list of drinks- we recommend the peanut butter thick shake! Make sure you try our hot chocolate, now available in a selection of flavours, using our deluxe hot chocolate stirrers and finished with a generous helping of whipped cream and marshmallows.
Now that we have a shop it’s a great opportunity to try out new products and flavour combinations that aren’t available through our wholesale list. Recently we added honey flavoured chocolate to our menu, as well as salted caramels and a delicious stout truffle which is rolled in cocoa for a melt in the mouth experience. We’ve also started experimenting with coloured chocolate again and have some rather fabulous rainbow unicorns which are flying off the shelves and chocolate beach houses just in time for summer.
One of our latest projects is a versatile chocolate spread, which can be used in cakes, melted on the stove to use as a dessert sauce or simply spread on toast. We’re hoping to have this on the shelves soon but in the meantime you can try it in our chocolate tartlets which are available in a variety of flavours, and can be enjoyed with a coffee if you sit in or can be taken away to eat at home.
Until recently The Strand Shopping Centre had been fairly empty so it’s fantastic that all of the units are now full and thriving with independent small businesses, many of which are artisan producers. There is a lovely community vibe and everybody is extremely supportive, so we would thoroughly recommend giving it a visit if you’re in the area.