We were introduced to Cocoa Amore by our friend Caroline who was at school with Pete, the owner. Previously the owner of Chocolate Alchemy in Loughborough, four of Pete’s delicious chocolates appeared at the door in Caroline’s hand, which everyone in the house could eat - by that I mean, us vegans, - and we were so impressed we bought the company.
Pete Gardner makes chocolates, runs workshops and courses, makes delicious hot choc and cocoa, and serves very creative savoury and sweet cocoa-based confections in his four-storey place in the centre of Medieval Leicester. King Richard III can, in fact, smell the melted chocolate from where he now lies. Our relationship started as customers but quickly became a working one, as he co-hosted our Buddy Wakefield show just before Christmas last year, from his previous shop in the Silver Arcade.
Pete’s philosophy is that chocolate should be good; the best quality, handled correctly and creatively, and edible by everyone. His array of chocolates has something for everyone with any kind of dietary specification - except those with a cocoa allergy of course - but it’s done in a gentle, no-big-deal, no massive sign shouting “DAIRY FREE” kind of way. This we applaud, and it makes for a welcoming, warm and inclusive atmosphere. We liked the company so much, we bought it.
Well, that’s not quite true - we bought ‘into’ the company! In the summertime we became shareholders, and I created the company's Share Certificates, starting with a sketch:
- and some reeeeallly careful hand-writing:
followed by a version in chocolate brown ink. These were printed on fat ivory cover-weight board, and each shareholder’s name was written in using gold ink:
New shareholders also received a VIP card which was designed to match the certificate, then hand-letterpressed on Graham Robson’s tiny letterpress machine, again using gold and brown. The card entitled the shareholder to special events, products and discounts:
How lovely do they look?
Needless to say, that hasn’t been the last of our adventures with Cocoa Amore. Well, we’re shareholders, we’re chocolate-balls-deep now, aren’t we?