A UNIQUE chocolate shop in Cockermouth is hoping to provide a ‘new element to the shopping experience’ in the town.

Choc of the North opened on Main Street, Cockermouth in November, after owner Clare Doherty decided to leave her teaching career and pursue something different, being inspired by her love craft chocolate.

Speaking about opening the shop, Clare said: “I first opened on the weekend of the Cockermouth Christmas lights switch on, November 17, which was a little nerve-wracking as the bridge in Cockermouth was still closed. It was a good positive start despite this challenge.

“I stock handmade, small batch craft chocolate from around the UK and try to support other small businesses, bringing their amazing products to our area to make them easily accessible.

“Having looked carefully at the Academy of Chocolate awards, I selected some of the UK brands for my shop.

"We also sell Castle Chocolates which is a small company based in Carlisle and this local product is proving really popular.”

Times and Star: One of the hampers which are available to buy in the store.One of the hampers which are available to buy in the store. (Image: Supplied)

Clare has said that the business has got off to a really flying start. She said: “December was pretty crazy busy with people buying gifts.

“January has been much quieter, but this is to be expected. I’m hoping for a surge of Valentine and Easter buyers to help launch 2024 successfully.

“Many local people have shown real gratitude that the shop is here. It brings a new element to the shopping experience in Cockermouth and provides a different gifting opportunity to what is already available in the town."

The shop is the only type in the town which specialises in chocolate and Clare said she has exciting plans for the future of the business.

She said: “I want people to be able to come here and see the beauty of the products, pick them up, read the story of each carefully crafted piece of chocolate.

“It’s a dream job in so many ways. Obviously, I’ve had to eat a lot of chocolate for research purposes, but there’s no hardship in that. I love every minute of it.

“I hope in the future to bring more amazing UK chocolate makers and chocolatiers to my shop and provide a really wide selection. I’m currently working on developing a range of chocolate wedding favours and gift hampers for couples to give out as thank you gifts to parents and bridesmaids.

“In the coming weeks, I will be starting ‘An Introduction to Craft Chocolate' tasting events which I’m hoping will be useful in helping people understand the benefits of craft chocolate to themselves as well as the planet.”