This month The Chocolate Tour is celebrating our first birthday, and I wanted to spend a few minutes sharing the inspiration behind the business.
I’ve always been a committed chocolate lover, and this has manifested in various ways over the years. Eating it, of course. Moulding chocolates. Making cakes that feature more chocolate by weight than all other ingredients combined. Experimenting with many, many recipes. Tracking down all the best chocolatiers and chocolate makers. Planning holidays around visiting their shops. Eating more.
After my second child was born in 2016, I was looking for a way to have a wee indulgence that I didn’t have to plan out – my head was too full as it was. I knew chocolate subscriptions existed elsewhere and I thought that was perfect; something new each month, no thinking, just sign up and it arrives. Magic! The only problem: there weren’t any in New Zealand. And shipping chocolate internationally on a monthly basis is both risky and expensive.
I googled; I found nothing. End of story, right? Except I couldn’t leave it alone. Every couple of months I found myself searching again, all to no avail.
Then I started thinking about going back to work, and it all fell into place – I thought perhaps I should have a crack at creating this thing I had been compulsively looking for.
Months of research, planning and sourcing later, we launched; our first boxes were sent out on the 1st of April 2017. There have been heaps of challenges; some things haven’t gone to plan, and others have worked out far better than I could have hoped. The rollercoaster of business! But I love it. I get to apply my compulsive chocolate-stalking behaviour to making other people happy (and yes, I get to taste-test along the way, although that’s a fairly small proportion of my work!).
I’m so thankful to everyone who has supported me in getting this far – to our subscribers and customers, all the amazing chocolate makers and chocolatiers who supply us, and my lovely family: thank you! Long may we continue sharing the finest chocolate in Aotearoa with you all.
Meanwhile, my daughter – the one who starting me thinking about it – is almost two, and this morning she asked for chocolate for breakfast. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… 😉