A B O U T

HISTORY OF THE CHOCOLATE BAR

The Chocolate Bar didn’t really start with chocolate; in fact, chocolate making was never part of the plan. Instead, in 2008 Mark and Maren moved to the Forest of Dean with their two children to work in Taurus Craft’s residential project, where they would be supporting adults with learning difficulties.

They soon became more involved in the enterprise than they had ever anticipated, providing tea cakes to the Taurus restaurant, and using their skills in cooking to help run a series of Seasonal Table events. This was their first venture into providing food for the public, but it certainly wasn’t their last, and when Taurus found itself in absence of a chocolate shop, someone thought to ask: ‘can you make chocolate?’ The answer was no, but they could definitely learn! A few weeks later Mark and Maren found themselves selling chocolates in a little corner of Taurus Crafts gift shop. It was not yet called The Chocolate Bar and not yet with a shop of their own, nor did it have the vast array of chocolate flavours and cakes that they produce today, but they were somehow, without intention, chocolatiers.

THE CHOCOLATE BAR TODAY

In the same way that the Chocolate Bar didn’t start with chocolate, it hasn’t ended with it either. Over the years Mark and Maren have provided cakes and other baked goods to Taurus Crafts’ restaurant, and expanded their own products to include authentic Danish Pastries; Caribbean Rum Cake; Meringue Cake and Doughnuts. All of these delicious goods are made in the on-site kitchen situated below their small shop.

The Chocolate Bar has become the perfect place for people to come, browse a recipe book or two, and enjoy their tea, coffee or hot chocolate with a slice of cake or a selection of chocolates. The Chocolate Bar is committed to proving good food and a friendly experience to all visitors. It is also a great place to expand your chocolate knowledge by attending one of the chocolate making activities. In school holidays, The Chocolate Bar runs several children’s chocolate making activities, and adults chocolate truffle making workshops are available to book throughout the year. They have previously catered for birthdays, hen parties, or simply provided a fun day for people who just want to have a go.

T H E   S H O P

M E E T  T H E  T E A M

M A R K
Business owner & partner

Mark, though born in London, spent much of his childhood in Barbados, and has lived in Ireland and Devon where his work in dairy farming on a small scale led to an interest in cheese making. He moved to the Forest of Dean in January 2008 to work in Taurus Craft’s residential project as a support worker, as he has for over twenty five years. He maintains this position, enjoying teaching people new, useful skills to promote their independence whilst he splits his time between working in support and running the Chocolate Bar.

Mark is enthusiastic about experimenting with old and new cooking techniques and creating chocolate flavours. He is responsible for baking cakes, bread and pastries, and for making the various different fillings for the chocolates.

M A R E N
Business owner & partner

Maren grew up in Denmark, where she studied chemistry, before moving to England in 1990 to work in Camphill as a support worker, where she met Mark. She, too, has lived in Ireland and Devon, before moving to the Forest of Dean to work in Taurus Craft’s residential project.

Maren is responsible for baking cakes and pastries, and does the majority of the decorating involved in their creations. This involves dipping and topping chocolate ganache, and filling and decorating the various cakes they have on offer.

OUR CREATIONS

‘What we want to sell is a product that makes you say ‘wow’; and that tastes like what we say it tastes like. We create flavours that have a story, and most importantly, flavours that taste good! Our ideas are based on known flavour combinations and cooking techniques, for example, all the caramels made in The Chocolate bar are cooked based on a description of the way caramels were traditionally cooked in France in the 1600’s. The Warm Milk and Honey chocolate also has its roots in known flavours, it is a well-known combination, but we were inspired to use those flavours in a chocolate by our days visiting Buckfast Abbey in Devon with our children.’

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Delicious chocolatey treats made
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Happy customers
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Diets broken
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Absolutely necessary taste tests
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