Monk Bar Chocolatiers, Shambles, Launches Online Store For Containment
A family-owned chocolate factory that has been in York for more than two decades has put its goodies online to get through the lockdown.
Alan Cardy and his wife Karen took over Monk Bar Chocolatiers from his parents, Ray and Liz, in October – just before the government closed non-essential stores.
The couple are hoping their new website will be the boost they need to make up for the lack of vital exchanges in preparing for pre-Christmas shopping.
Ray and Liz established their first Monk Bar Chocolatiers store in 1999 in the shadow of Monk Bar, with their second store opened at No 7 Shambles in November 2002.
A few years later, the Monk Bar boutique closed and all operations were transferred to Shambles. All the chocolates are made on site in small batches with chocolate couverture and the finest ingredients.
Alan, who has been with the company since 2003, said the store’s handover was always planned for this time in their lives.
“But we didn’t expect the circumstances to be like this,” he said. “It immediately challenged us. We didn’t have a website, but in June we realized we had to create one.
They launched their website monkbar.com on October 19, along with Facebook and Instagram.
“What’s unique about us is that people can come and choose their favorite chocolates,” said Alan. “We wanted it to be like that on the website. You click on the box you want and the chocolates, and the box fills up; it’s the same as being in the store in essence.
“Orders have started to arrive now. We hope this will get us through the second lockdown. We had planned it anyway, but then we got the big push. Things are going well. We get orders every day and it seems to be accelerating. People appreciate being able to fill their boxes.
Delivery is £ 4.99, or free if the order is over £ 50. Orders came in from across the country, with former visitors to York among the customers.
“We make all the chocolates ourselves on site,” said Alan. “Today, I made 900 chocolates. This can range from 500 to 2,000 during peak hours. I don’t think we’ll hit those numbers at Christmas.
Alan said the support they received meant a lot. “It makes us smile as a family that we make money to pay the bills. It’s about that ‘local support’ – behind the counter is a family trying to pay off a mortgage. ”