Our business began in 1996 as a small chocolate pop-up shop while we started looking for the right location to get established in. Parnell was our ultimate choice as the area had character, and the shops were very vintage. We managed to find the perfect small store in an awesome location in Parnell and now, as our business has grown, we have expanded into two other stores in the same location by removing dividing walls.
Initially, we just offered chocolates, coffee and hot chocolates. At that time, none of the franchise stores were in the area and it was nearly impossible to get a coffee after 4pm until the restaurants opened around 6pm. Offering coffee and chocolate is what really made us stand out from the crowd.
In 1999 we had a surprise visit from the then President of the USA Bill Clinton, with his daughter Chelsea and mother-in-law Mrs Rotheram. International and local media outlets covered the event, and the White House wrote us a thank you letter, signed by the President Rodham.
We have also won some awesome awards over the years including being the Auckland Top Shop Winner in 2000 and the GIA winners for New Zealand in 2008 - we were even sent to represent NZ in Chicago at the Gift and Homeware Show there; it was a proud moment for us.
A key part of what makes our company stand out is our dedication to providing customers with the best possible products and experiences at our cafe and on our online store. We travelled the world extensively seeking out good chocolate brands and do stock some international brands still; but honestly, we love our New Zealand chocolatiers who use Callebaut chocolate. This chocolate is imported in bulk from Belgium but they temper it and convert it to finished chocolates here in New Zealand and use fresh and local ingredients for the fillings.