Chococo, Exeter

Chococo, Exeter

Nestled on one of Exeter’s quaintest streets you will find Chococo. New to Exeter but well established in Swanage and Winchester. Chococo is welcomed with open arms by the chocolate lovers of Exeter. 

The shop is a mix of two halves. You have the cafe selling amazing cakes with a chocolate theme made at Chococo HQ in Swanage. You’ll find a selection of goodies made by my friends at Emma’s Bread. You can build your own hot chocolates, build your own ice cream sundaes (made with Purbeck ice cream from Dorset) plus they have the most wonderful fresh and ambient chocolates.

Let me talk about the cafe first. A wide selection of hot drinks with coffee from Crankhouse. A local roasters just two miles away from Chococo’s front door. The teas are from Dorset teas and the chocolate for the wonderful hot chocolate selection comes from all over the world via their main site in Swanage. Claire Burnet, the owner of Chococo takes pride in sourcing produce from local artisans and producers. What Chococo can’t produce themselves they source ethically and make sure that the supplier values are similar to their own. The decor is bright and cheerful with a spacious feel, particularly when you go upstairs to the mezzanine. Long wooden tables with potted fresh herbs and flowers compliment the picture wall where children (or adults) can create their own work with the paper and crayons available. Huge paper lanterns hang from the ceiling creating ambient lighting and a show stopping centre piece.

Moving back downstairs I talked through the menu with Robert, the manager, whilst eyeing up the amazing cakes! Chocolate chip scones, made by Emma’s Bread can be made into their own version of a cream tea. How does a warm scone with clotted cream and dulce de leche sound to you? I, for one think that sounds AMAZING! Alongside the scones you can choose from lemon drizzle cake, tea cakes, almond and raspberry slices and a gluten free chocolate and pecan brownie. If you don’t fancy something sweet then you can go down the savoury route with a Chococo’s very own cheese and marmite scones served warm with butter or a calzone, filled with roasted vegetables. Or perhaps a cheese swirl from Emma’s Bread takes your fancy?

Robert suggested I should try something so I perused the menu for myself. A pot of Dorset breakfast tea and one of the gluten free chocolate and pecan brownies were calling my name. Robert suggested I turn it into a “Brilliant Brownie”. I, of course asked what this was and was sucked in straight away. My brownie was whisked away, warmed slightly and served with a scoop of Purbeck ice cream. I chose vanilla drizzled with hot chocolate sauce. I can categorically say that it was possibly one of the best brownies I have ever tasted. The quality of the chocolate was clearly evident. There was no sickly sweet feeling throughout or after. Just the pleasing taste of pure chocolate. The brownie itself was moist with a subtle crunch of a pecan nut. The ice cream melted as I was eating which swirled in with the hot chocolate sauce. I was in chocolate heaven and it was only 11am!

After my intense chocolate fix I asked Robert to talk me through the chocolate selection in the shop which is the other side of Chococo.  A wonderful selection of pre-packaged chocolates that compliment the decor in colour, keeping the overall theme from the cafe running through into the shop. I asked Robert what the most popular pre-packaged chocolates were. His answer was “the drops”. White, dark and milk chocolate drops in small (£2.95) and large (£4.95) pots. A perfect introduction to the high quality chocolate available. Next in the top sellers list came the ‘clusters’ and third choice being the ‘slabs’. Both the clusters and the slabs introduce flavours to the chocolate. Orange, raspberry and nut choices for you to choose from amongst others. Lots of child friendly treats are on offer too like the moulded chocolates. I was particularly taken with the robots! There is even a section for customers that are non-dairy. Wonderful if you might be vegan or lactose intolerant.

From the pre-packaged chocolates Robert pointed me in the direction of the chocolates that are sold loose at the counter. Fresh chocolates made with a fresh cream ganache rolled in various fruit and nut toppings. In the chiller you can also buy the ambient chocolates. These chocolates last a little longer than the fresh cream. They are encased in white, dark and milk chocolate to protect the delicious fillings. Decision making will prove hard for you here I think! You purchase your chocolates by weight here at £6.95 per 100g (about 60-80p per chocolate). It’s worth adding that you can buy these chocolates from chiller by the box too. A small box is priced at £9.95, the medium box at £13.95 and the large is £19.95. Such a great gift idea don’t you think? 

For those wanting to buy a special gift may I recommend the edible boxes, edible moulded cocoa pods and edible moulded flower pots. Fill each of these receptacles with a selection of fresh or ambient chocolates and have it gift wrapped for you. Price again is by weight and what a wonderful gift in my opinion.

Chococo’s opening hours at this present time are:

9.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday
9.00am – 5.30pm Saturday
11.00am – 5.00pm Sunday

There will be longer opening longer hours when Christmas approaches. In September they are planning on using the upstairs mezzanine for events. Pilates and yoga classes are in the pipeline as well as networking events. Watch this space. I will endeavour to keep you up to date with any news as I get it.

So, if the thought of a “Brilliant Brownie” isn’t enough to get you flocking to Chococo then amazing chocolate selection surely will be. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Chococo, Exeter

  1. Wow that has definitely inspired me to go there and sample some of those delicious sweet treats! I’m a total chocoholic so I know I am going to love it! Great review X

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