A CHANCE happening in a ski resort helped fuel a dream.
Hattie Cufflin was working as a waitress in France when suddenly offered an unexpected opportunity.
âThe pastry chef broke his leg,â said Hattie, 28. “I asked if I could give it a try and they said ‘yes’.”
After taking a course at a cooking school, she worked as a pastry chef for years until she was put on leave during the pandemic.
âIt inspired me to start an online business selling handmade chocolates and distributing them to people,â Hattie said.
âIt just snowballed, so I decided to give my opinion and take the giant leap by opening my own chocolate factory.
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“A total dream for me. I’ve been saving for years for a store.”
A year ago, she found a run down corner store on King Street in Knutsford.
With the help of their parents Ollie and Ruth, their sister Lydia and their boyfriend Jake Boyce, a chef, they created a magical department store, Hot Cocoa.
An old-fashioned wooden counter is filled with rows of delicious chocolates, and patrons can sip hot chocolate and coffee at small tables.
âI did all the DIY myself and there was a lot to do and although a lot of people thought I wouldn’t open it in time for Christmas, I did,â said Hattie, who sells always chocolates online.
âEverything I sell is handmade by myself on site and includes artisan chocolates, candy bars, truffles, millionaire shortbread cookies and brownies.
“The response was better than I can imagine. Everyone loves them. I sold everyday.”
Painstaking patience, she says, is the key to a chocolatier’s success.
âYou have to love it because it’s such a long process,â said Hattie, who makes 500 chocolates a day. âIt takes 12 hours but after everything is shiny from the mold it’s the best feeling ever.
“My favorite is the Baileys and Nutmeg. It’s very festive and anyone who eats it loves it.”
Hattie is hoping to grow and hire more staff.
âI don’t want to rule the world,â she said. “I just want to become well known in the Knutsford community.”
For more details visit hotcocoa.co.uk