We met Gemma and Rowan – the team behind Choki - last night, continuing our proud tradition of investigative journalism.
Choki produce hand-made, hand-wrapped chocolate bars and truffles. Although young, they are both experienced chocolatiers who met when they worked together at Bond Street chocolate shop Charbonelle et Walker. When we met them at The Orchard, they were taking a break between receiving a delivery and producing an order for Oxfam. We asked Rowan about their approach to chocolate:
“We take responsible sourcing very seriously and we always use very high quality ingredients. We use fresh cream, which reduces the shelf life of some of our products, but we consider it a really important part of making great chocolate. Our products are definitely a luxury (a bar costs around £3.95, the truffles cost 50p a piece) but for the quality of the product we make, the prices are very reasonable.
“We do like to experiment with chocolate but we avoid gimmicky flavours. I once tasted a “marmite” chocolate, which really didn’t taste of anything. Our chocolates taste like the ingredients we include."
Brockley Central can vouch for the fact that you can taste all the flavours in the honey, lemon and thyme chocolate and that their Earl Grey has a deliciously subtle flavour.
Rowan continued: “The name Choki of Brockley is a bit tongue in cheek, but we always wanted people to know where the chocolate came from. We’re both fairly new to the area (Rowan moved here as a student and convinced Gemma to join him) but we’re very proud to be a Brockley business and we’re aiming to source locally wherever possible.”
Gemma added: “We loved the name Browns of Brockley and went for something similar. In the long-term, we’d love to have our own shop – ideally here. I had to work hard to persuade Rowan that “Brocklate” and “Chockley” were a bad idea – although you never know, maybe we’ll make a special batch with one of those names?
“We’ll be producing special ranges for occasions like Valentine’s Day and Easter and we hope to be at this year’s Summer Fayre as well as the local Christmas Markets. We’d also be happy to talk to people about special orders for parties and weddings if they want to contact us through our website. We’ve even had orders via Facebook.”
Next week in Greenwich will be a big test for them, but based on what we heard and tasted last night. Brockley could soon be the new Bourneville.
There is another very interesting part of the Choki of Brockley story, which we’ll discuss in a separate thread.
In the interests of transparency we should reveal that, we were given approximately £8 worth of chocolate to review, of which Brockley Kate scoffed at least 50p’s worth. We’re pretty sure Brockley Jon had some too although we didn’t actually catch him in the act.