Chocolate shoes... There is sure to be a stampede.
Shoe-aholics and chocoholics alike will be hot-footing it to the door of Shocolat, the specialist patisserie on Rotherham’s Corporation Street for a pair of size fours, beautifully sculpted from the most delectable dark stuff.
They’re the creation of Karen Knight – and they’re hand-made on the premises in a variety of “styles”.
While boyfriend Russell Hardy toils over hand-baked bread, croissants, cakes, and pastries and serves up high teas and lunches at what used to be the town’s pet shop, chocolatier Karen gets messy in her basement workshop with top-grade chocolate.
“I thought a chocolate shoe would kill two birds with one stone with our female customers,” says Karen, who also takes commissions for wedding and birthday cakes. Best of all, though, she loves dreaming up unusual fillings for the luxury chocs she sells at £4 for 100g – lavender is one of her most delicious. She pops a selection of five into the hollow size four stilettos, which sell for £17.50.
The Arbourthorne couple opened up last autumn with help from the Rotherham Enterprise Project. Trade went well, but December’s big freeze burst a pipe above the shop - and brought the ceiling crashing in on their dreams.
“It’s taken two months to get ship-shape again. We re-opened this week and are hoping customers come back,” says Russell, who had dreamed of owning just such a shop from boyhood.
He got a Saturday job in a baker’s at 14, trained at Castle College and has worked for a succession of local bakers, so he’s used to the 3am start needed to get fresh produce on the shelves daily.