Middle Street’s chocolate heaven
During the summer of 2017, after a decade of pondering her dream, Tracy Clarke made it a reality by opening Chocella, a small but perfectly presented chocolate haven situated on Brixham’s Middle Street.
Tracy put her heart and soul into Chocella, named after her mother Ella, who taught her to bake cakes at a very young age and talked to her about never letting things stand in the way of her dreams, so it’s only fitting that this new venture has a brand with a heart at the centre.
Although it’s not all plain sailing for any new venture, with seasonal footfall and no surety of success, Tracy took a chance on Brixham and is delighted with how warmly the community in both Brixham and surrounding Torbay has taken Chocella to their heart. How does she know? Well, part of her strategy is to use social media and technology to help raise awareness about the Chocolate Cafe both locally and as far afield as possible to draw the crowds in. She encourages visitors to give feedback and the reviews to date have been very positive. This approach is helping Chocella gain a reputation for a lovely cosy environment, exceptional chocolates, great coffee, super cakes – a real reason for all to come and visitif you haven’t already.
Never one to be shy of a challenge, Tracy is keen to use the Brixham model, her flagship shop, and replicate it elsewhere. She told us, “Dedication to employing local people and sourcing ingredients as locally as possible are two equally important elements of the Chocella strategy for me personally. I’m looking at how we can expand the Chocella concept through opening other shops, and although similar, there will subtle differences to each.” As in all things with Tracy there is an element of surprise and you never know what you are going to get. Tracy says, “Our customers are so complimentary and comment how different Chocella is from other traditional cafes. You could say it has a slight French look and feel, which alone
makes Chocella a little different.”
Tracy certainly doesn’t forget her roots and growing up as a miner’s daughter with money sparse, gave Tracy the drive and determination to not only prepare her for this next step but to succeed and look forward. When asked why start Chocella now, she quickly responds, “It took me a long time to realise you can’t take it with you. I once read: If today was your last day, would you have any regrets? Chocella took a long time to conceive and with the help and encouragement of close friends and family, the chance read of a book of a famous enuepreneur plus a loving and super supportive husband, I took a leap of faith. I understand like any good business, it’s only as good as the people around you supporting and implementing your vision, ideas and concepts. So having the right team is key. Has technology helped with this venture? Absolutely! The world and marketplace is changing at a fast pace and being able to adopt new ways of working is a key ingredient to Chocella’s success. Planning is already underway for the next location and now that Chocella Brixham is launched I can’t wait to find it!”
For those who have not yet had the pleasure of a Chocella hot chocolate, topped with crazy indulgent toppings, accompanied by a slice of delicious signature home made Ella cake, we recommend you include a visit some time soon. The team really do endeavour to make your time within Chocella as pleasurable as possible; nothing is too much to ask and you’ ll receive a complimentary truffle with every drink.
When you visit, you can peruse the chocolare crufHes, sweets, cakes, superb coffee and their signarure chocolate soup! lt’s a first for Brixham that has cenainly got everybody talking. Whilst you wait, the team can make-to-order your chocolate boxes or hampers for special gifts. Online vouchers are available via the website and the online shop is open for those indulgent chocolate purchases.
Original article by Anita Newcombe in the English Riviera Magazine
Reproduced by kind permission of author/publisher