Opening our Auckland Store
Our new chocolate bar and boutique in Auckland City is now open, and it’s a beauty! The Commercial Bay Development has been a long time coming and for us this new store began as a twinkle in our eyes almost 2 years ago. After pitching our little company to the Landlord’s we were blown away by their enthusiasm to have us join such an impressive line up of retailers. And then the hard work began with business plans, design concepts, menu ideas, sourcing, recipe development, and planning, planning, planning!
The fit-out of the Auckland store was a very different process to that in Matakana. Back in 2017 we were up a ladder putting wallpaper on the ceiling and had friends volunteering with a paintbrush (thanks guys). None of that when you’re part of such a huge project like Commercial Bay! We worked with the ladies at Material Creative on the interior design, Harrows Furniture made some of the key pieces of furniture for us, including our comfy banquette and stools, and Allen and Chapman expertly crafted our cabinetry and chocolate bar! We love our beautiful glass pendants from Monmouth Glass and of course our iconic piece of rainforest, in both of our stores, from Cole and Son wallpapers.
After the original plan of opening in September 2019 was set back 6 months due to base build delays, we were full steam ahead at the beginning of this year to open our doors in March, just before Easter. Staff were hired, stock had been made at our chocolate kitchen in Matakana, the fit-out was very close to complete, and deliveries booked. But with Easter came the Lockdown and another delay to opening our second store. In some ways we were grateful to be given the extra time to spend with our little boy, and take a breath before the madness that comes with opening a new store began! But the timing couldn’t have been worse for a chocolate business with large amounts of Easter Eggs ready to sell! The first few days of lock down were very unsettling, while we took the time to work out whether we were classed as an essential business or not?! Thankfully we were allowed to continue selling our chocolates online, and we had an amazing response from our local and loyal customers and we were extremely grateful for their support! The two of us were kept very busy packing online orders, especially without our wonderful team to help us.
The Matakana store re-opened in May, and the opening date for Commercial Bay was set for mid-June. After a few late nights and long days setting up shop we finally got there! Honest Chocolat is now officially in Auckland City and we can’t wait to welcome you.