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Leicestershire Chocolatier up for National Award after Setting up Shop During Pandemic

A Leicestershire chocolatier, who set up a business during the Covid-19 pandemic, is up for a national award after being nominated in a nationwide search to find the UK’s favourite local business.

Keith Tiplady set up ’Indulgent Chocolates’ in May 2020, after being made redundant from his role as a project manager for Triumph.

It was during this time that he began experimenting with making Belgian chocolate slabs and selling them in markets and online.

After receiving an order for a 3000 slabs for a care home, he decided to invest in the business and opened a shop in Ashby’s Bath Street just under a year later.

Leicester Time: Leicestershire Chocolatier up for National Award after Setting up Shop During Pandemic
Picture: Indulgent Chocolates Facebook

Now the popular business has been shortlisted for the UK’s Favourite Local Business awards -which “honour the people and businesses making our communities a better place to be.”

Speaking of his success, Mr Tiplady said: “I started by simply trying to find ways to further utilise the chocolate tempering machine that I had bought my wife as a birthday present. After making chocolates for friends and family, as well as local residents, I soon expanded to shipping my products across the UK.

“I have since upgraded the 900g tempering machine to a 7kg machine to keep up with the demand and to manage large corporate thank you gift orders.”

However, despite thriving sales online, the ambitious chocolatier wanted a physical shop, and Ashby seemed like the perfect place to set up shop.

“Ashby has a thriving high street with a good range of shops so it seemed like an ideal location,” said Mr Tiplady. “We were really lucky and when we opened, we had a queue right down the road.”

Stuart Benson, manager of Ashby Business Improvement District (BID), said that ‘Indulgent Chocolates’ had made a “big impact” in the short time that it has been in Ashby, helping to draw shoppers into the market town. 

As well as selling chocolates, the shop also sells a range of chocolate cakes, including brownies, cookies, cupcakes and triple chocolate scones, plus ice cream milkshakes.

One of its bestsellers is the Belgian chocolate slab with Nutella filling, topped with Kinder Bueno and Happy Hippos.

Commenting on his nomination, Mr Tiplady said: “Being recognised in the competition to find the UK’s Favourite Local business feels great. It’s a tough time for everyone right now, especially small businesses, and someone taking the time to nominate us and maybe inspire others to try our chocolate, means a lot. If we don’t support our small businesses now, we’ll lose them.

“Running a small business is tougher than I thought it would be. You don’t go home at the end of the day and switch off, you’re thinking about it 24/7, whether that’s new ideas for products or what your next window display should be. But it’s also really rewarding.”

The winning business will be announced later this month.

For more information or to vote, visit: www.local-awards.co.uk

Leicester Time: Leicestershire Chocolatier up for National Award after Setting up Shop During Pandemic