First look inside this brand new chocolate shop
- Credit: Archant
Pump Street Bakery in Orford have opened a paradise for chocoholics visiting the village.
In 2010 father and daughter team Chris and Joanna Brennan upped sticks to Suffolk, and wowed everyone in the coastal village of Orford (and beyond) with their sourdough bread - painstakingly researched and tested to be the best it could be. And so good people were having it shipped to themselves all over the world. The bakery even got a mention in the Oscars, when winning Short Film director Mat Kirkby gave Pump Street a shout out during his acceptance speech.
But they don't sit still at this bakery. Inventive Chris, who's fascinated by the way things are made, began investigating the world of chocolate. And so Pump Street chocolate was born in 2012, all made from bean to bar in their factory at Bentwaters Park (where you can, incidentally, book tours and tastings), using carefully sourced cocoa beans, chosen ethically and fairly - as well as for flavour.
Now the family has opened what is Suffolk's only bean-to-bar chocolate shop, in a petite premises across the square. Open at weekends to take the pressure off the bakery, and to give customers the full chocolate experience, it's somewhere chocoholics should definitely put on their must-visit list.
"We send the chocolate to Hong Kong and Singapore now," says Joanna, delighted by their sweet success. "It's something we hoped and we dreamed for but we never really expected would happen. It's a nice high."
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By far the most popular bars (all single origin and of varying shades, from pale and subtle, to deeply dark) are those with inclusions from the bakery itself. "We didn't realise how much those would capture peoples' attention. Where we've combined the bars with our rye crumb or panettone or hot cross buns, those have been so widely well received. I think they offer people something they don't get in other chocolate bars. And they're also a link between our hands-on baking business and the chocolate. We get people visiting from as far as Japan now because they've tried the sourdough and sea salt chocolate and wanted to try the actual sourdough bread!"
The new chocolate shop, as well as stocking the full range of Pump Street bars, is, says Joanna, somewhere you can learn more about how chocolate is made, and also discover bars from other makers who share the business's ethos. "We've got around 12 producers from around the world, all of them small scale. One of them is Fruition, based in upstate New York. There's chocolate from Dandelion in San Francisco, and another one is called Omnom from Reykjavik. There's a real fascination in the craft chocolate movement, and people have started making it, all coming from the same angle (small batches) but all doing different things. Fruition work a lot with a local distillery and make a bar which is like a bourbon barrel aged chocolate bar, and Omnom are doing a burnt barley bar! So hopefully people will be delighted to not only buy what we're doing, but their treats too."
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In addition to being positively packed to the rafters with edible goodies, the chocolate shop will sell chocolate and baking books and some baking kitchenalia too.
Plus, there are new products coming in over the autumn -well worth visiting for - from caramelised, chocolate-coated Piedmont hazelnuts, to the finest French candied orange peel, enrobed in…you guessed it, chocolate. "Oh the oranges are so good," reveals Joanna. "They're made to a traditional recipe of just sugar syrup and fruit and are very jelly-like. It's like eating Jaffa Cakes! They will definitely still be around for Christmas and were also in autumn going to bring out our gingerbread, nutmeg and milk and panettone chocolates. We have a new drinking chocolate as well in a choice of three types of chocolate. We are so excited to show everything off in the new shop."
The Pump Street chocolate shop is now open, on Saturdays and Sundays only.