6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Rivington Chocolates - an unusual combination in Horwich

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 October 2017

A selection of chocolates

A selection of chocolates


What do you get if you cross a building surveyor and a nurse? Some of the best chocolates in Lancashire, as Emma Mayoh discovered.

Christine Thomasson and Chris Dale of Rivington Chocolates Christine Thomasson and Chris Dale of Rivington Chocolates

Christine Thomasson and Chris Dale don’t have what you’d consider traditional backgrounds for a career as chocolatiers. But for the couple, who live in Horwich, being a nurse and quantity building surveyor have been the perfect ingredients for their business, Rivington Chocolates.

‘It has given me a good eye for detail,’ said Christine. ‘I was a nurse and midwife while living out in Saudi Arabia for a while and I still work two long days on a health line now in Salford and it’s surprising what skills help me with the chocolates. It’s so interesting and I love it.

‘Being in Saudi really did make me miss home, though. It sounds strange but seeing the patches of green and the rain over Manchester after coming from the desert was one of the best things to see.’

It was while Chris and Christine were out walking – one of their favourite hobbies – that they struck upon the idea of a chocolate business. Talking about what they would love to do if they had their own business, making chocolates came out on top. Christine has always made the sweet treats for friends and family as well as making them for her own pleasure. But after a course at Slattery’s in Whitefield and lots of practice and teaching themselves new techniques, Rivington Chocolates was launched at the start of 2015.

‘It was a bit scary but so exciting to launch the business,’ said Christine, who has also worked as a jewellery maker. ‘It’s fantastic to do something we both adore.

‘I just love the smell of it all. And when you come to turn them out of the mould and they look great, that is wonderful for me. And when people come up and say they would like more of our chocolates. It’s incredible. It really does make it a pleasure to be doing it.’

Christine and Chris use the finest sustainable ingredients to create their luxury handmade chocolates as well as bespoke recipes created and made in their own kitchen at home in Horwich. All their chocolates – which come in flavours including dark chocolate lemon curd truffles, honeycomb dipped in milk or dark chocolate and edible chocolate bowls – are made fresh to order. They sell online as well as at various farmers’ markets and large food events including Bolton Food and Drink Festival and they have been awarded accolades, including a Great Taste Award.

Ingredients, where possible, come from nearby, including Williams Butter and Bank Top Brewery beer, both in Bolton, and well as preserves from Gribbin and Bear in Adlington.

Pina colada chocolates Pina colada chocolates

‘It’s quite important to us to have that relationship and connection with other local producers,’ said Christine. ‘And creating food using each others’ products gives customers something very different to something they can pick off a shelf in a supermarket.

‘We don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. And we’ll do everything we can to make sure it stays that way.’

Being a small scale independent producer is something the pair are rightly proud of. They hope, in the future, to set up a co-operative shop to give them, and other local independent businesses, a shop front

‘Our USP is that we’re local. It’s something we’re very proud of,’ said Christine, who named the business after her love of Rivington Pike, a landmark she can see from her home. ‘But it would also be a great way of small producers like ourselves getting their names out there more as well as sharing the labour. It can be demanding, trying to be at all the different food events. With a shop, we can all take it in turn.

‘It’s a really exciting idea and one we’re really keen to realise. There are a few producers we’ve spoken to who are keen so the next step is looking for premises. We’re not interested in rushing or producing chocolates on a massive scale. We want it to happen organically. But we are determined to do it.’


More from Lancashire Life


The winner will enjoy access to the spa facilities and Zen Garden, breakfast and evening dinner.

Read more

The red rose county’s royal show is set to be bigger and better and you could win family tickets for this top summer.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:44

Make a date for this year’s Royal Lancashire Show – all the signs are that it’s going to be one to remember. Roger Borrell reports.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:25

We have teamed up with Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to offer a winner and guest the chance to tour the race fleet and meet race crew

Read more
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Two sisters who worked for the secret service during World War II recall their remarkable father whose memoir of life in a Japanese prisoner of war has come a best seller. Peter Adams met them.

Read more
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Bar & Grill at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe is now open 7 days a week and to celebrate we are offering a selection of dishes at half price until 13th July.

Read more
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ever wondered how Clitheroe Castle got that huge hole in its tower? John Lenehan might have the answer after this walk from Sabden.

Read more
Ribble Valley Walks
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Spectacle Factory launch Bamber Bridge showroom

Read more
Monday, June 11, 2018

This Ribble Valley gem is home to creative people and imaginative retailers who make it the perfect place for a day out.

Read more

Overseas royalty and fashion designers have fallen in love with a not so humble Lancashire horse blanket made on the moors above Darwen.

Read more
Friday, June 8, 2018

This Liverpool restaurant may serve small plates but the flavours are huge

Read more
Italian Food
Friday, June 8, 2018

The Lake District’s new World Heritage status was the spur behind a £19 million project to turn a landmark hotel into a luxury resort.

Read more
Lancashire Life Luncheon
Thursday, June 7, 2018

An inspiring young woman who suffered in silence for years because of a debilitating stammer has made a remarkable transformation.

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search