What got you interested in chocolate pizzas?
I love the fact that chocolate pizzas are what I call ‘a happy product’, they always make people smile. After being given the opportunity to take over The Chocolate Pizza Company from the previous owner, a good friend of mine, I jumped at the chance of a new challenge and the thought of playing with chocolate all day was an exciting prospect. So I made the change from teaching to running my own business in order to create a better work/life balance.
When did you first make chocolate & how was your first attempt?
The transition in the early days was a steep learning curve, and with the guidance of my friend I made my first chocolate pizza in April 2014. The art of tempering is not an easy one to grasp quickly but with a great tutor and lots of practice, I was improving. The family enjoyed lots of rejects in the early stages. Since then I have developed my skills and have three different sized tempering machines which help me to produce the large amounts needed, all in my specially built chocolate workshop.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Once I had grasped making chocolate pizzas, I decided to become more adventurous and started experimenting with flavoured bars and shards which I sold at events. It was at one of these events that I was approached to retail my bars and shards at a local garden centre. I am proud to say that three years on, that retailer still stocks my chocolate and I have acquired several more outlets since.
I entered my Dark Chocolate Raspberry Shards for the Taste of the West awards this year and was very pleased to receive a Silver award. Apart from that I get a great deal of pleasure form the compliments I receive from customers when they have received a chocolate pizza in the post, and also listening to positive comments when they taste my flavours at events etc.
What’s your best-selling product?
When it comes to the chocolate pizzas, my ‘Totally Stuffed’ is the most popular but I have recently launched a ‘Big Breakfast’ Chocolate Pizza which is hot on its tails.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I hope that my business continues to thrive and that I can gain more retail outlets over time, whilst still enjoying making chocolate and get excited about our new creations and flavours.
What’s your mission statement?
The Chocolate Pizza Company is about providing something a little bit different whether it be an unusual gift in the form of a chocolate pizza, or a delicious unusual chocolate flavour combination. I am proud to place ‘Made in Devon’ on my products and being a sole business venture love the fact that I am the contact throughout the process, therefore providing a great personal service.
My personal statement however would be ‘Do what makes you happy and live life for today’. I feel this reflects in my business too.
What’s your favourite type of chocolate?
Oh so much to choose from! I am a sucker for my Salted Caramel Honeycomb, Cornish 71% Sea Salt Shards and White Chocolate Raspberry Bars, so it is clear that I like all types of chocolate. I do find that I eat more dark chocolate nowadays though. However, my guilty pleasure when stopping at the petrol station is to grab a Chunky Kit Kat!
You will be able to get your hands on Annie’s Chocolate Pizzas and other products at the Exeter Chocolate Festival, but if you can’t wait until then you can buy online by clicking here!