We meet the father and daughter duo from Choc on Choc
Behind the doors of an old warehouse in the high street in Rode, a small village just south of Bath, you’ll find a hive of activity. A team of 25 enthusiasts are busy fashioning all sorts of special chocolates; for weddings, Christmas, birthdays and Valentine’s. Welcome to the world of Choc on Choc.
When Flo Broughton finished her art degree in 2003 she decided to use her flair for creativity to enter the world of chocolate making. 10 years ago the market wasn’t as competitive as it is now and she saw an opening for a more personal offer: bespoke chocolates. Her father, Kerr Dunlop, is skilled at carving and making moulds, so with their patented process they launched Choc on Choc, using the finest Belgian chocolate. This innovative way of making chocolates caught the eye of our gift food buyer, who asked them to design some exclusive lines for Valentine’s Day. Today, Choc on Choc has a turnover approaching £1m and ambitious plans to expand their overseas market.
What does each of you bring to the company?
We both bounce ideas off each other, then Kerr goes off and makes the moulds for each new design. I manage the business side of things, ensuring we’re hitting sales targets. I’m completely self-taught on accounting, running a business and managing staff.
What are the benefits of being situated in Rode, as opposed to, say, a purpose-built factory, closer to town?
We’ve always lived in Rode - it’s our home. We bought an old warehouse in the village and converted to a chocolate factory - there’s even a house above where Kerr lives. It’s a lovely place to work and access to distribution is great. I actually live in London but the drive down is quick and it gives me time to think. I come down for 3 days at a time while my family stays at home. In fact my son Charlie, who’s 2, has yet to eat any chocolate!
Explain how the personalisation works
If you’re getting married you can have chocolate heart favours personalised with the couple’s names. There’s a choice of pink or silver hearts, glitter or character chocolates - even a personalised chocolate box! We’ll contact you within 14 working days of receiving the order and it’ll be ready to send out within 5 working days as all our chocolates are made to order.
Have you had any unusual commissions?
Aside from the usual requests for birthdays and wedding favours we were once asked to make somebody’s house from chocolate. That home happened to be a castle, which was very exciting!
What are your best sellers?
Naturally Christmas is our biggest season. We sell lots of chocolate Santa hats and puddings but old favourites like chocolate noughts and crosses continue to be popular. Each year we introduce something new, and with everyone into baking and crafting we’re finding our make-your-own kits are selling really well.
What does the future hold for Choc on Choc?
We’re currently working on a range of non-gifted chocolates you can treat yourself to, and we’re about introduce filled chocolates to complement our existing designs. We’re also seeing really good growth overseas, where we’re selling to markets like Japan, Canada, USA and Europe.
And what’s your favourite chocolate? And Kerr’s?
There’s nothing like a Wispa bar to make me happy, while Kerr loves his Fruit & Nut! Much as we love chocolate, like wine you can’t always drink the good stuff!