Paul was made redundant from his job during the recession and decided that if he had to create his own job, it should follow his passion for food, but initially was undecided on which route to follow. The idea of making chocolate stemmed from reading an article online. Research showed that chocolate is a booming industry and the average UK consumer eats approximately nine kilos of chocolate every year. Armed with this knowledge, Paul left behind his career in finance to become a chocolatier and has never looked back.
The dream was always to bring delicious chocolate with surprising and intriguing flavour combinations to Lancashire and beyond. It was important to stand out from the crowd by using great quality chocolate with unique flavour combinations.
The journey began at farmers markets and food festivals across the county and with a small shop unit at Botany Bay, Chorley.
In the early days, Paul made the chocolate at home in the kitchen through the week, then with the help of some hugely supportive friends, Paul & Jacqui spent most evenings packing the chocolate ready to be sold at the weekend.
Six months later a larger unit with its own kitchen became available at Botany Bay and all production was moved to the new premises. It was here that Paul was able to introduce and encourage his customers to try before you buy, something which Choc Amor is today famous for. In Paul’s own words, ‘ How do you explain Orange Jalfrezi flavoured chocolate? People really need to try some of our flavours to understand that they do work and most importantly, that they are delicious’.
Due to the growing success of Choc Amor, Jacqui took the decision to leave her long standing career as textiles sales manager and join the business full time. In September 2013, Paul and Jacqui opened The Chocolate Rooms in Tarleton, a café and chocolate shop.
This venture was a huge success with customers travelling from miles around to sample the afternoon teas, Jacqui’s cakes and of course Paul’s chocolate. After three happy, hectic and exhausting years the decision to sell the café business was taken in September 2016, allowing the couple to refocus on the chocolate.
Choc Amor moved to their very own chocolate studio and shop at Cedar Farm in Mawdesley. The shop offers visitors a completely different buying experience in a friendly and relaxed environment, where you can talk to Paul, Jacqui or Judith about the chocolate and the unique flavours like Chilli Cappuccino or Twisted Latte. Customers can browse and take in the array of flavours with packaging that informs people how to eat the chocolate to get the most out of each bite.
Once established at Cedar Farm, Paul and Jacqui turned their attention to the sourcing of their chocolate. The Choc Amor mission statement is ‘We want to change people’s perception of chocolate one mouthful at a time’, but how could they provide the ultimate experience in chocolate if they didn’t know where it originated.