Chocolates of Glenshiel has added another notch to its belt of growing success when it procured a larger site for its chocolate making operation along the road from its current premises in Kyle.
Hoping to “create a chocolate factory that Willy Wonka would be proud of”, company founder, 22-year-old Finlay Macdonald, who set up the business after leaving school at 16, has set up a crowdfunder.
With the aim of raising £8,000 by Friday, September 24, Finlay hopes to form a chocolate community hub for locals and tourists alike.
He said: “We’re really keen for this to become a community hub because there’s not really anything nearby.
“We’ve took over an old petrol station which is about five minutes down the road from where we are just now about two months ago.
“We had enough cash in the bank to be able to give one room a nice lick of paint, put down some flooring, put in a coffee machine and we’ve got a table out with our chocolates on it but all the rest of the building is still left untouched.”
More than 100 backers
Finlay’s crowdfunder has currently reached more than £5,500 with 100 plus people supporting the campaign. By purchasing perks, chocolate fans won’t just get exclusive bars of limited edition chocolates from Finlay’s team, they’ll also be investing in the experience.
“We do have some perks on the campaign page that allows people to buy from us with the money going to the renovation,” he continues.
“We’re not asking for charity, we’re just hoping people will get onboard and help us out if they can and we’re more than happy to give them chocolate in return.
“The money from the crowdfunder will go to renovating the rest of the space. We’ve got another room that we want to turn into a darker, cosier room with a wee sort of Highland woodburner in it so that we can do chocolate tastings or even whisky tastings.
“There’ll be normal coffee shop seating most of the time but with the ability to be shut off for doing events like tastings.”
What’s in the box?
In terms of the perks themselves, there is plenty for chocolate fans to get excited about:
- £14 gets you four chocolate bars of your choice from the very first batch from their new kitchen.
- £18 gets you a box of 15 chocolates with a selection of exclusive flavours.
- £40 gets you a box of a whopping 45 chocolates.
- £70 includes a private chocolate tasting.
- £80 means a one-year subscription to Chocolates of Glenshiel for their limited edition seasonal range.
- £112 gets you a box of 30 bars.
- £150 equals £150 camping extravaganza.
- £200 gets you a box of 60 bars.
- £220 will see you embarking on a two-night getaway and chocolate voucher.
Renovations start in March
Once the money has been raised, Finlay expects the new centre to be up and running by March 2022.
“We’re going to keep this front room open until Christmas so that locals can come and do their Christmas shopping,” he adds.
“Then we will close for January and February, provided we’ve managed to secure the money that we need.
“We’ll then do all the work on the rest of the building and open as a fully finished all singing, all dancing, Scottish experience chocolate centre at the beginning of March.”
Window on the (chocolate) world
The new centre will also showcase many of Scotland’s local food and drink producers that Finlay uses in his chocolates, as well as a big window that will allow visitors to watch the chocolate being made.
“There will be a big window on the wall that will look right into our chocolate factory so you can see it being made and all the chocolatiers at work.
“We’ll also hopefully have a walkway through that area so that we can greet people and explain the processes of chocolate making.
“The tasting sessions will also be a chance for me to give people a piece of salted caramel chocolate and tell them about the wonderful couple on Skye making the sea salt or the wonderful farmer in Perthshire harvesting honey and raspberries for chocolate.”
For more information visit chocolatesofglenshiel.com