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Visiting Award Winner Yvette’s Chocolates In Potten End

Yvette Lynch has a real passion when it comes to chocolate – and thanks to her shop in Potten End, she is spreading the love

When did you first become interested in the creation of chocolate?

Chocolate has always been part of my life, often making chocolate desserts, truffles for friends, family and loved ones. My curiosity led me to my first chocolate workshop in 2009, which really inspired me to learn more about the creation of chocolates. One area that intrigues me is the infusion of flavours and this is something I am constantly working on. Chocolate is a journey and you never stop learning.

What kind of things did you learn about its creation during your time in France and Italy?

I grew up in Italy and France where food and flavours were always very much part of our life. This in turn inspired me to create chocolates with natural ingredients and play with different flavours. I like to keep my chocolates as pure as possible.

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Yvette Lynch creating her next masterpiece

What inspired you to open your own business?

My son and my husband Tony were my inspiration to open my own business. Since starting Tony has trained and joined the business and is also a Chocolatier.

From day one, what did you want to offer?

I wanted to offer a selection of flavoured chocolates, hand-crafted in small batches. Something to excite the taste buds.

Is it exciting when you get to work on new flavour combinations?

I love creating new flavour combinations. The inspiration for new flavours sometimes come from the most unexpected places; it may be whilst shopping, travelling or reading articles on foods. The really exciting bit is when it all comes together and when I get my taste panel to go ‘wow’, then I know it works. My taste panel is Tony,  Aimi our new team member and my son who I know will be honest – plus a few random people who don’t initially realise they are being taste tested!

What is the artisanal infusion technique you use?

I use diverse infusion techniques developed over many years, which I prefer to keep to myself.

What chocolates are always your best sellers?

Our best sellers are our Salted Caramel Chocolates, either as truffles or barks, and of course our award-winning Great Taste Chocolates, Coffee Mocha, Dark Olive Oil Infusion with roasted cocoa nibs and sea salt, Dark Almond Clusters, Dark Raspberry & Rose.

What’s new for the start of 2022?

In 2022 we will be working on some new bar selections and some more vegan chocolates, and also finalising the Valentine’s range and our Easter Eggs which are individually hand decorated and very popular.

This will be in our Valentine’s Day issue – what chocolates do you recommend for a romantic gift?

Valentine’s Day is always popular with our customers, we will be offering some Valentine Chocolate Boxes with some of our favourite flavours in a “lover’s hamper”.

With your bespoke service, can you create anything within reason?

With our bespoke service we can create a wide range of possibilities, which we love to offer. This may include creating chocolates for a bride and groom with flavours that may reflect their meeting, corporate orders to promote a business or thank their customers/staff.

Why did you open your shop in Potten End?

Since starting our business we were working from home in our kitchen. As we were growing it became unstainable, we needed more room, and I happened to see a post on social media about a space in Potten End, this was originally a bakery and more recently Crockers Chef Table, so all set up to move in. The extra bonus was the small shop space. We have now refurbished the shop space to create more room to display our range. The location is ideal as customers can park outside the shop.

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The Potten End shop is a chocolate lover’s dream

What would we find when visiting?

You will be greeted by myself, Tony or Aimi. Our full range is on display and depending on the time of year our seasonal range too. During quieter times we can offer a taste to help you decide.

Do you love being based in the area?

We really have taken to trading in a village location. The outlook over the fields is beautiful and the locals are very supportive, parking for customers is no hassle and convenient, and we are close to Berkhamstead, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Harpenden. Plus it is a short commute, which is a bonus during the really busy times.

Finally, what are your hopes for 2022?

To continue growing our business, which will involve developing some more unique flavours and attracting new customers. The chocolate journey will always be interesting and challenging and our biggest wish is to share it with as many fellow chocolate lovers as possible.

yvetteschocolates.com

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