Luxury chocolate shop opens its doors in Leamington

A Leamington luxury chocolate maker can now produce its premium chocolate quicker than ever following support from Warwickshire County Council.

Cenu Cacao was set-up by Rosemary Ndukuba in 2017, employs three people and this July moved into a new shop on 114 Regent Street.

It is famed for producing chocolate using Aztec methods and organic cacao beans, with customers able to watch the production process from start to finish in the shop.

The shop has been able to significantly cut the production time of its products after purchasing new equipment for roasting cocoa beans, which was part funded with a Small Capital Grant of £5,400 from Warwickshire County Council.

Cenu Cacao was helped to access the funding by Business Ready which is managed by the business support team at the University of Warwick Science Park and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council.

Rosemary met with Ian McFarlane-Toms, who heads up the Business Ready programme, and he helped guide her to secure the grant funding.

Now Rosemary has her sights set on building strong foundations at her new premises and is looking to further expand into more towns in the future.

She said: “We had been struggling with roasting the cocoa beans and we weren’t getting the consistency and quality we wanted from the oven.

“We needed to make the investment for the business to grow. The new machine really speeds up our process and further increases our quality, which we pride ourselves on, the roasting is very crucial and the equipment has solved that issue for us.

“I met with Ian McFarlane-Toms at a session organised by Warwickshire County Council and from there I was told about the possibility of grant funding. It covered around 30 per cent of the cost of the equipment, which is great.

“It’s been an exciting few months for us with moving into our new premises and our customers are now able to see the production process from roasting to tempering all in our shop.

“The lockdown came at a bad time for us with Easter just around the corner, however Covid-19 gave us a chance to take a step back and see where we were going to take the business, this is when we decided to move to a new home and take a leap of faith.

“Once we have settled in here we will start to look at how we can expand into another shop and continue to grow.

“It has been amazing to be back open after lockdown. What I missed most was serving our customers. The people of Leamington are fantastic and have been nothing but supportive of us over the last three years.”

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