3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

What does Choc Amor in Mawdesley have in store for Christmas?

PUBLISHED: 00:00 11 December 2017

Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor

Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor

Paul Heyes Photography Limited

Meet the artisan chocolatier creating the perfect Christmas treats in Mawdesley. Emma Mayoh reports

Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor, Cedars Farm, Mawdesley, Lancashire. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 22, 2017.













Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor, Cedars Farm, Mawdesley, Lancashire. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 22, 2017.

Paul Williams couldn’t get through the Christmas rush without Gertrude, Doris and Izzy. The 46-year-old chocolatier, who owns Choc Amor in Mawdesley, has the three chocolate machines – making milk, dark and white – to help him produce the thousands of chocolates he needs each festive period.

‘We go from using 120 kilos of chocolate a week to a quarter of a tonne a week,’ said Paul, who lives in Croston. ‘It’s just a little bit mental. It’s full on. But I love it.

‘It’s all hands to the pump. It really ramps up from December. We get on with it and don’t stop until closing on Christmas Eve. The large glass of red on Christmas Day is something we look forward to – you won’t catch us eating chocolate though.’

Planning for the festive period starts in September with wife Jacqui, co-owner of the business. December is always a blur of chocolate making, special Christmas hamper production, farmers’ markets and festive shopping events. Paul creates everything from Christmas pudding chocolates and sprouts – flavoured with a zesty orange – to new flavours including Merry Cherry, a lovely blend of kirsch cherries with dark chocolate.

Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor, Cedars Farm, Mawdesley, Lancashire. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 22, 2017.













Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor, Cedars Farm, Mawdesley, Lancashire. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 22, 2017.

Being busy is a year round thing for Paul and Jacqui, though. They have gone from using eight tonnes of Belgian and Columbian chocolate a year when Choc Amor first launched in 2012 to churning through that every month now. Paul, who still does all of the chocolate production himself, makes different blends including chilli and lime, Persian coffee and orange jalfrezi. He uses produce from local suppliers including Blacksticks Blue from Butlers Cheeses in Longridge and oils from Apothecary Oils located just a few yards from Choc Amor at Cedar Farm. Monthly specials are also created by Paul, which often sell out in a few days.

His chocolates have won 28 of the industry’s highest accolades including several Great Taste Awards, Academy of Chocolate accolades and most recently two bronze awards from the World Finals of the International Chocolate Awards.

‘I’m always producing different flavours which suits me really well, said Paul. ‘It means I get to play a lot more. It would get dull for me if I couldn’t do that.

‘It’s funny really as I’m not a massive chocolate fan – I’d much prefer a bag of crisps. But that also helps keep me critical of the products.

Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor, Cedars Farm, Mawdesley, Lancashire. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 22, 2017.













Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor, Cedars Farm, Mawdesley, Lancashire. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 22, 2017.

‘Hearing about the bronze awards was mind blowing. We got one for our salt liquorice chocolate a few years ago and we thought that would be our lot. It’s just incredible.’

The success of the business is validation for the passionate food producer who was made redundant from his job in commercial finance on New Year’s Eve in 2010. Over the following 12 months he sent out 1,000 CVs with no success.

‘It was soul destroying,’ Paul admitted. ‘I sent all these out and nothing worked. Then I was up reading the paper at 2am and saw a piece about a chocolatier who had done a two day course and then launched his own business. I thought I could do that. So I did.’

And Paul was right. Since then – and following his own two days course at Slattery’s in Whitefield – Choc Amor has become one of Lancashire’s best known artisan chocolate brands. As well as selling from Cedar Farm, at farmers’ markets and online, Choc Amor products are also sold at great Lancashire retailers including Holmes Mill in Clitheroe as well as at the award winning Hipping Hall, near Kirkby Lonsdale.

Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor, Cedars Farm, Mawdesley, Lancashire. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 22, 2017.













Paul and Jacqui Williams of Choc Amor, Cedars Farm, Mawdesley, Lancashire. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 22, 2017.

Paul and Jacqui, members of Taste Lancashire, have also recently had offers to stock Aldi, Waitrose and Co-op. But the couple are dedicated to keeping their business small scale and artisan.

‘To supply big supermarkets like that would change the business from something we love into something not recognisable,’ said Paul. ‘It’s not what we want. We’re not interested in being this massive company. I still make the chocolates and that’s how I want it to stay.

‘Our aim and dream is to be the best chocolate maker in Lancashire. And I think we’re definitely getting there. We’ve won 12 awards this year – one for every month – and next year we’ll start going again. I’d love to get to 50 so watch this space.’

More from Food & Drink

Friday, September 21, 2018

Cosy, warm and welcoming. Discover some of the county’s best places serving up food perfect for the new season

Read more
Autumn
Friday, August 31, 2018

A £10million project has transformed a Victorian hotel into a Lakes spa resort with a brilliant pan-Asian restaurant. Roger Borrell reports.

Read more
Derwentwater Asian Food Luxury Break
Friday, August 24, 2018

It’s a cooking career that started with a tuna pasta bake and now Chris Parsons is head banqueting chef at Ribby Hall Village, venue for this year’s Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards. He spoke to Roger Borrell

Read more
Ribby Hall
Monday, August 20, 2018

Come and enjoy a relaxed dining experience effortlessly prepared by our Award Winning Head Chef.

Read more

Your granny wouldn’t like it but this Manchester restaurant aims to be out of this world, writes Roger Borrell.

Read more
Manchester Restaurants Asian Food
Friday, August 3, 2018

Due to the popularity of our Vegan Menu and to promote the health benefits of a plant based diet we are launching our weekly vegan night, Choose Vegan.

Read more
Friday, August 3, 2018

The world’s best pizza deal comes to The Feilden’s Arms at Mellor Brook.

Read more
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Join us Monday to Friday, from 12pm ‘til 3pm during the school summer holidays (23/7/18 to 31/8/18) when children under 12 can enjoy a Kids Pizza for FREE.

Read more
Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Lancashire couple sold up their home and their business so their sons could become farmers

Read more
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Beautiful food in beautiful surroundings...

Read more
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Fine dining in elegant surroundings makes Pier Eight at the Lowry a destination dining restaurant you’ll want to visit time and again, says Kate Houghton.

Read more
Friday, July 20, 2018

It’s summer, so let’s eat out on the riviera...the Mersey riviera, that is

Read more
Liverpool
Friday, July 20, 2018

An old tea service owned by her grandmother set Tina Nunn on the path to a rewarding new career.

Read more
Afternoon Tea
Thursday, July 19, 2018

A young couple are taking an innovative approach to farming on land overlooking Morecambe Bay

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search