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My trip to Downing Street

Filed in Blog, News, Our Gallery by on 30th December 2018 0 Comments • views: 112

 

 

On 28th November I was delighted to be heading to Downing Street.

I had been invited as a Small Business Champion by the Small Business Saturday Campaign to celebrate 5 years of the campaign.

I had been 2 years ago as part of the small business 100 for 2016.

Firstly I wasn’t sure I should go at such a busy time of year for the business… and then I thought “What an honour! I must go!”. So, after sorting out arrangements for work and childcare, I headed down to London, head buzzing with all the bits I needed to do when I got back. I texted my nephew about meeting him for a drink after he finished work and generally filled my time.

It wasn’t until I got to the gates of Downing Street and saw tourists taking pictures that I realised what a special occasion this was and how privileged I was to be invited.

We had the security checks and the staff at the gates were extremely polite and helpful… they even let me take my giant box of chocolates through.

The invitation this time was for 11 Downing St… it had been no. 10 two years ago!

I met other fellow business champions and we decided to have a few pictures in front of the famous door of no. 10 – alas, the police wouldn’t let me hold up my box of chocolates as it would have been seen as advertising!

We were then invited in to number 11 for a drinks and canapés reception. We had to leave our phones behind in little cubby holes and weren’t allowed to take any pictures whilst inside.

The building itself is beautiful and grand but not overwhelming. The staircase leading up to the reception room at no. 10 has beautiful portraits of previous prime ministers and I did wonder if it would be previous chancellors here.

It isn’t… it is covered with political cartoons, caricatures and engravings of past Chancellors of the Exchequer. It is a tradition that each Chancellor gets to choose the cartoon he wants to represent him.

The afternoon was spent enjoying the setting and chatting with other great small business owners and also meeting the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond and the Secretary of state for health and social care,  Matt Hancock as well as representatives from supporting organisations such as Royal Mail, American Express, the Duke of Edinburgh’s iDEA program and many more.

We had speeches and photos and then the afternoon drew to a close.

It was a very special afternoon and it was delightful. Regardless of politics, everyone was respectful, polite and happy.

I was very glad that I had accepted the invitation and was truly honoured and grateful for being on this interesting small business journey.

As always, I am always thankful for all who support our little business.

 

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The spirit of a small business

Filed in Blog by on 3rd December 2018 0 Comments • views: 77

What an amazing weekend we’ve had!

 

Thank you for coming out and supporting the community of local small businesses. It was so fabulous to see so many gorgeous lovely friendly people at the Open Culture Winter Arts Market and then Baltic Market on Sunday.

 

And really – it’s not just about the sales…

–  it’s about the young lady whose birthday we helped celebrate years ago. She came along on Sunday as an adult and said how great and memorable it had been;

– it’s about the elderly couple who take the bus to come in and see how we are doing every year as they’ve supported the business since we began;

– it’s about the children’s gorgeous happy little faces as they discover good chocolate for the first time;

– it’s about the couple whose wedding shot glasses we did who come and reminisce about it at our stall! – it’s about the fellow stall holders who become good friends and we all look out for each other;

– it’s about the organisers who put so much hard work in to make each event extra special!

I could really go on for hours but I think you get it … your lovely loyalty and your beautiful stories really touch our hearts. Thank you every one of you… we truly appreciate your love and support for our business.

The spirit of Small Business Saturday was truly captured this weekend!

Lets keep it going throughout the year!

#indieweek and #SmallBizSatUK

Filed in Blog, Hello by on 26th November 2018 0 Comments • views: 89

Last week we took part in an instagram challenge for #justacard. This was a campaign which highlighted the fact that every tiny purchase makes a difference to small businesses.

The title of the campaign was inspired by a quote from an independent gallery owner after the closure of their gallery.

“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery  had bought just a card we’d still be open”

We are also involved with the Small Business Saturday campaign which urges all to support local independent businesses and every year chooses 100 small businesses to highlight in the run up to the day itself and is a huge celebration of all that small businesses do.

We’re looking forward to Saturday 1st December when we will be at the Winter Arts Market at Liverpool Cathedral … celebrating and showcasing with over 200 fellow businesses.

Each one has a story to tell and share, so please, over the next few weeks we’d encourage you to support local. By this, we don’t just mean spending money (that would be great though!) … we also mean taking time to listen to the business story, understanding a brand, sharing their story … either through social media or just word of mouth…. share their journey!

Your support, in any way, makes a massive difference.

 

Thank you

 

Chocolate Week is here!

Filed in Blog, Ingredients, recipe by on 17th October 2018 0 Comments • views: 130

National Chocolate Week is upon us again and we’re so happy to have a full week dedicated to the celebration of chocolate!

During one of our tastings this week we were asked what it’s all about – why chocolate week?

For us its always been about celebrating chocolate in its beautiful wondrous form and the way it is so very versatile… as an ingredient and as a delicious food all on its own.

We love playing with chocolate in our chocolate room and delight in coming up with new ways of using this amazing food  – Chocolate and goats cheese pizza, chocolate hummus, chocolate tapenade, roast chicken and chocolate, chocolate mole and of course traditional chocolate bars, chocolate truffles and pralines.

We hope you will enjoy chocolate week and try out something new with chocolate this week. Recipe for our chocolate and goats cheese pizza:

Ingredients:

Sour dough pizza base

Mozzarella

Tomato puree

Goats cheese

Dark intense chocolate (the stronger the better)

Any other toppings you fancy

Method:

Spread tomato puree on the base

Spread grated mozzarella on top

Top with chunks of dark chocolate and slices of goats cheese

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for 10 minutes

Bon Appetit!

Unicorns, Dinosaurs and Workshops

Filed in Blog, Event Details, Hello, workshops by on 9th April 2018 0 Comments • views: 420

So Easter was a little bit manic with making Unicorns and Dinosaurs. We were overwhelmed with the lovely comments we received as feedback to the eggs we made.

Thank you so much – we are delighted that we were able to bring so much happiness with our little treats.

We have been a bot behind with sorting out workshops … now that Valentines, Mothers Day and Easter have been dealt with we are delighted that we have managed to get back to taking hen party bookings as well as school workshops and team building corporate workshops.

We are still holding them at HUS, Siren and Claremont Farm and are also now working with Baltic Creative in the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool to add more workshops.

Our next Dabble and Creative workshops are at Claremont Farm on 16th June. … Just in time for Fathers Day maybe?

If you would like to book please head to our online  shop and purchase a voucher or Click here for the Dabble workshop via Eventbrite    and Click here for the Creative workshop link on Eventbrite

Heat and the effects on Chocolate views: 320

So … today I should really be in the Chocolate Room making shot glasses for La Finca Elvissa, La Finca Bodega and Tapas Tapas. Its a hot sunny day and as I am not yet in a temperature controlled industrial unit I am stuck! It is too warm to work with chocolate today. I do […]

Another thank you! views: 358

Once again I would like to thank everyone and anyone who has been kind enough to vote / nominate The Chocolate Cellar. I was so happy to have been listed in Good Taste Magazine’s Power List: 100 women in Food and Drink. It was amazing to see my name listed with many good friends in […]

Spicing it up! views: 508

As Valentines is coming up we have put together a little list of some of our favourite spices to add a little bit of heat to the proceedings. As well as Chocolate, Raw Oysters, Strawberries and more, spices are often cited as being aprodisiacs and are often use in many cultures when preparing recipes for […]

In the news! views: 629

We were delighted to be in the news in the Guardian for Small Business Saturday. This Saturday is the 5th Small Business Saturday. We are so excited to be part of this amazing campaign which encourages all to support small businesses close to you. Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights […]