“The chocolate shop is up for sale!” said Sarah excitedly, brandishing the estate agents brochure “I think we should buy it!”
“So when you said ‘If the chocolate shop ever comes up for sale, we’re buying it’ you weren’t joking?” I replied.
“I’m going to call the estate agents and arrange a viewing as soon as we can.” Sarah continued, without hesitation.
And that was the start of our story and of our chocolate adventure. In late 2013, the week of our oldest son’s first birthday, we opened up for our first day in charge at Chocolate Fayre and haven’t looked back!
We are husband and wife team Kenny Walker and Sarah Wall and we simply love Spreading Happiness with Chocolate! We live on Sarah’s family farm in the heart of Teesdale in the stunning Durham Dales, with our four children; Jubilee the horse; Orio, Snowflake and Meow the farm cats; and our 6 hens. This is where Sarah was brought up and where her family has lived for over a century. We decided to return and raise a family after we got married in 2010. A self-confessed chocaholic, as a youngster, Sarah remembers visiting Chocolate Fayre, in the local market town of Barnard Castle and buying chocolate animals (which are still just as popular with children today!). I, on the other hand, am an incomer. Originally from a tiny village in East Lothian, near Edinburgh, I love the beautiful corner of the country in which we now live, and really enjoy being part of the community as one of the many independent business owners in the town.
For almost 40 years, Chocolate Fayre has provided the good people of Teesdale with the finest chocolates, sourced from some incredibly talented chocolatiers, as well as fabulously creamy ice cream, made from double Jersey cream just across the border in Cumbria by English Lakes Ice Cream. With the popularity of Chocolate Fayre growing locally and with an ever-increasing number of tourist visiting, we had been on the look out for larger premises for some time. In Autumn 2018, our story moved to the next chapter, when we got the keys to the new home for Chocolate Fayre, just a few doors along from its original spot, at 10 Horsemarket in Barnard Castle. A year of (quite literally) blood, sweat and tears, saw the launch of the newly refurbished, larger and better positioned Chocolate Fayre in September 2019.
The new building has given us scope to not only carry on providing all of the products and services for which we are already known, but also add a range of hot drinks offerings, including full-flavour coffees made from your choice of 4 different artisan roast coffee beans, a selection of different blends of loose leaf tea, and our now sought after Signature Hot Chocolate, made purely from a blend of real chocolate melted into steamed milk for a silky smooth chocolate indulgence. In addition, we have added a comfortable escape for those warmer days, when our Secret Garden comes into its own. A complete sun-trap nestled in behind the shop, the hustle and bustle of the high street is a silent memory, as you sit back in either the grown up continental-style courtyard, or the safely-enclosed play area for little ones and parents or carers, with a cup of something delicious, an ice cream or a chocolatey treat. So all-in-all, we can spread happiness with chocolate even more than ever now.
A new chapter is now on the horizon, which we hope will provide an even better customer experience, with more on that soon. But suffice to say, we are nowhere near the end of our story yet…