Chocolate guru on your doorstep

Rosanna Benn at her chocolate shop in Market Rasen

Rosanna Benn at her chocolate shop in Market Rasen

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IT MIGHT not be Lincolnshire’s equivalent to Willy Wonka’s factory just yet, but Special Edition Chocolate in Market Rasen has doubled in size and its unusual sweet treats are certainly something to rival the fictional confectioner’s creations.

Owner and chocoholic Rosanna Benn – with help from her trusty team of workers – makes, wraps and sells all kinds of chocolate bars, truffles and novelty chocolate items from her shop at Willingham Hall.

And now the shop has expanded into the adjoining warehouse to create a new chocolate education area, seating and much more space to display chocolates – many with speciality flavours like Earl Grey, lavender and violet.

The paint on the walls is now exactly the same colour as Special Edition white and milk chocolate, and there will soon be a new and much bigger production area.

Former home economics teacher Rosanna, who opened the shop in 1995, said: “We were a bit cramped before we expanded but now people can come and have a drink and sit in comfort. It’s absolutely wonderful having extra space.

“We’re going to start developing some new flavours and am looking forward to giving more chocolate talks from the shop.”

Rosanna – who is proud to be an independent trader – said she is backing the Rasen Mail’s Buy Local campaign.

She said: “I’m very proud of the Rasen Mail for doing a Buy Local campaign – it’s something everyone should support. If we don’t support independent traders our town will die.

“It also makes sense because you save so much money on fuel and you know where the things you buy have come from.”

Rosanna’s award-winning chocolates are all nut and gluten-free and her 72 per cent cocoa dark chocolate is also lactose-free. And none of the chocolates have any artificial colours or flavourings.

She said: “We’re popular with a lot of people who have special diets and our dark chocolate is actually considered a health food because its high cocoa content lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.”

Rosanna said her business is doing well and she is looking forward to launching a new chocolate drink.

She said: “In times of recession I think people eat more chocolate because it makes you feel better – it produces serotonin in the brain to give you the feel-good factor.”

Special Edition Chocolate is open from 9am to 4pm every day. Open days to celebrate the expansion and to launch the new chocolate drink will be held on Wednesday, December 7 and Saturday, December 10 from 10.30am to 3.30pm.