Imagine having access to chocolate 24/7 in your very own shop… Bliss. Chantal Coady, founder of Rococo Chocolates is living this dream in her three beautiful shops in London creating exquisite chocolates.
With a textile design degree, Chantal took on a job in Harrods chocolate department and decided she loved chocolate far more so put her energies into her business. The ‘Rococo’ name came about by accident though, “I was in a small business start up course and was paranoid about not wanting to tell them the real name because I didn’t want anyone to steal it so they said just make up a name just for this exercise. I stopped for a moment then just said rococo. It was brilliant!”
From the French word ‘rocaille’, Rococo means elaborate ornamentation that is exaggerated and fun – exactly the qualities Chantal wanted her business to reflect.
And if you’re looking to give something truly imaginative this Easter, look no further than the Rococo eggs or the gorgeous chocolate rabbit – or even purchase a bag of Jello Love Babes which are the most popular product ordered from the Manchester region! “They buy them by the kilo and we end up sending out about 50 or 60!” In terms of ordering from the website, the second largest amount of orders come from Manchester so we’re obviously showing the chocolates some love and potentially this is where Chantal would consider opening another shop so let’s live in hope!
Now, back to the products. The difference between the real chocolate that Rococo creates and confectionary chocolate is where the cocoa comes from and how the chocolate is made, “The easiest way to understand is to think about wine. You can buy wine for £3 a bottle or you can spend hundreds of pounds”. It’s all about how the product is actually made “That’s where the analogy is – there are industrial ways of making chocolate and more artisan methods. Obviously that’s where we are”.
So now we know the work that goes in to producing the chocolate, is it as bad for us as we’re led to believe? Thankfully not. In possibly the best news I’ve heard to date Chantal said chocolate actually has beneficial properties! “It’s full of minerals, vitamins, polyphenols and anti-oxidants. It also has a chemical effect on the brain to get the synapses connecting so that’s why people find it so pleasurable to eat”. The only catch is that these benefits are in dark chocolate because the milk in milk chocolate interferes with the way the body absorbs the chocolate. A good example was the Harvey Nichols chocolate that came with our coffees. Chantal said it is “one of the best chocolates there is actually. Creamy, soft, gentle and a little fruity”, which is unlike a normal dark chocolate. After telling the chocolatier that I don’t much like dark chocolate she explained it’s because sometimes a low quality bean is used that has been over roasted and therefore tastes very bitter.