Cockington Chocolate Company opened its doors last yearand hasn't looked back since.
Owned and run by Tony Fagan and Simon Storey, thecompany, which is based in the Sea Change Craft Centre buildings at Cockington,started by selling small amounts of chocolate in the Cockington Court Tea Roomswhich the couple also run, before they decided to split operations and open thenew unit.
Now, two staff are employed and a third – an assistantChocolatier – is about to be taken on.
The idea for the business came from a holiday in Francewhere Simon and Tony toured several hand-made chocolate operations. Havingcompleted an intensive specialist course with a top chocolate house, Tony -formerly a chef - was able to fulfil a lifetime ambition to become an artisanChocolatier.
The business has since become so successful, reaching apoint in the summer when the order book had to be closed, that Tony and Simonhave decided to take the opportunity to open an additional workshop atCockington in the New Year.
Tony explained: "Our original intention was to stay smallbut we have been overwhelmed with demand and extra space is needed. We will bekeeping the shop on but we reached a point this summer when we had to close theorder book as we couldn't cope with any more orders. We've been very successfulsupplying shops and hotels."
Together with extra space to make chocolates, the newunit will also be used for running classes and courses on chocolate making.
The current shop will be also be used for events such aschocolate tasting sessions.
Tony added: "Cockington works very well for us. It's anamazing place to come to work. People love seeing the chocolate being made.Everything we sell is made by me."
Torbay Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: "It's wonderful thatCockington Chocolate is enjoying so much success at Cockington. Tony and Simonhave an extremely successful formula and obviously are working very hard toachieve their goals. They are both great examples of how Torbay Council'seconomic development company, the TDA, is helping businesses expand and grow atthe South West Innovation Centres, of which Cockington is a unique craftfocused venture."
Marissa Wakefield, Cockington Court Centre Director,added: "I'm very pleased Cockington Chocolate has proved to be so successfulthat Tony and Simon are taking on an additional unit. They are very inspirationalpeople and I can certainly vouch for Tony's chocolate being extremely tasty andfar too tempting! I'm sure their courses will be extremely successful with manypeople wanting to learn how to make such delicious chocolate."
Torbay Development Agency (TDA) Chief Executive, SteveParrock said: "I wish the Cockington Chocolate Company every success in theirexpansion at Cockington Court, which is testament to their talent and hardwork. This company is a great example to showcase Cockington Court Craft Centreas an excellent business community, in which the artisan tenants and thecomplementary businesses at the Court and surrounding village bring a uniquecharacter to this popular visitor destination."
Cockington Court Craft Centre is run by TorbayDevelopment Agency as a visitor attraction and innovation centre to supportsmall creative businesses in the Bay.