A Chocolate Factory in the Heart of the Chilterns
By Paul Batey, Clarks of Amersham and Chiltern Chamber Committee Member
For those of you unfortunate enough to miss the Chiltern Chamber of Commerce networking meeting at Auberge du Chocolate, you missed a real treat!
The hosts for the evening were Anne and her husband Ian, the business owners and very passionate Chocolatiers. The evening was fun with Anne giving us the opportunity to taste the different chocolates from around the world. She likened it to tasting wine, with different regions and countries producing various tastes and variations on texture. Suffice to say we were all smacking our lips and making all the right yummy noises, whilst Anne toured us through the blends of chocolate, which bars were her best sellers and what awards had been won for which bars and trust me when I say each of the many awards that Anne and the team have won are well earned.
To give you a general idea of how the evening went, I can confirm a lot of business contacts were made, a few business deals were being discussed and the presence and smell of the chocolate made everyone very happy and relaxed (I might start taking chocolate to all of my business meetings).
There was however a defining moment for me, amongst the enjoyment of the chocolate, the wonderful business men and women in attendance and all the networking that was happening, and that was the sheer knowledge of the product that Anne and Ian lovingly create on a daily basis. We were told of the origins of Chocolate from bitter Aztec drink to the bars we buy today, what makes an excellent chocolate bar and what doesn’t, what complements the chocolate (chilli and bacon would you believe) and during all of this I couldn’t help but envy the absolute passion and sheer knowledge that Anne displayed.
I wondered how many businesses present in the room listening to Anne and tasting her chocolate were so passionate about what they do and could track their products and the roles they play in business back to their respective roots.
Personally, working in the removals, storage and archive industry as a commercial account manager, a large part of my job is to explain the benefits of outsourcing document management services and the savings made on space etc. I have excellent knowledge of how it operates now, but very little knowledge of archiving and storage throughout history. In order to satiate my interest, only a tiny bit of time on-line searching revealed that clay tablets dating back to the third and second millennia BC – Bronze Age – were archived in ancient sites near modern day Turkey and Syria. These have helped Archaeologists in their translations of ancient languages revealing much about their history.
I hope that anyone reading this article takes just a few minutes today and looks at the history behind their business, whether it be Accountants reading about the Knights Templar or Beauticians looking up some of the horrific things that have been used as make up throughout history. Maybe we can all glean a bit knowledge to spark the passion of our daily working lives and the roles we play in our businesses.
Visit Auberge du Chocolate to see upcoming events and visit their amazing factory in Chesham : Unit 28 Chess Business Park Chesham HP5 1SD.
If you would like to attend any of our network events please visit our Events page. We have Breakfast meetings (launch in Nov 2015) and evening events for all different businesses and availability. Come along for free to a meeting and see what we are all about. The Chiltern Chamber of commerce is a non profit organisation and all proceeds go straight back into local support for business and the community so the more members we have the more we can do. It costs very little to be a member and once joined you can utilise our network of contacts and benefits. Alternatively e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.