Chocolatier and retired headteacher’s sweet dreams become reality with relocation to Royal Arcade in Norwich
Chocolatier Angela Ruthven’s sweet dreams have come true as she moves her shop Artisan Chocolates by Saffire to the Royal Arcade in Norwich.
The retired headteacher has been selling artisan chocolates since 2004 but her ambition has always been to set up shop in the city’s much-loved Victorian shopping arcade.
Now after 16 years she has secured the sweet spot.
The 76-year-old said she was unable to secure a lease in the arcade while chocolatier Digby Eddison had premises because it would be viewed as competition.
Artisan chocolate ambition
Digby’s was in the Royal Arcade for two decades, from 1993 until 2013.
Since it closed, Ms Ruthven has been trying to get her name above a door there.
Now she has finally moved out of her purpose-built premises in Taverham Garden Centre and is setting out her store in the city.
“We are bringing chocolates back to the Royal Arcade,” she told Proudly Norfolk Food & Drink.
Royal Arcade relocation
But how did she go from classroom to confectionery?
After retiring as headteacher at the Hall School in Old Catton in 2004, Ms Ruthven originally trained as a chocolatier as a hobby.
When people started to buy her creations, she decided to turn it into a business.
Now it has become a family affair, with both her daughter-in-law and son helping out.
Hobby becomes business
Customers stepping into the chocolate emporium can expect to find hand-made chocolates produced on the premises using natural ingredients.
They can choose from 30 different flavours, all unique to Saffire and made according to secret recipes.
High cocoa content bars, individual gift boxes and Brazil nuts dipped in chocolate are also available.
Although the latter are not crafted on site.
As Ms Ruthven candidly said: “I do buy in very few things, one is chocolate dipped Brazil nuts because life is too short to do that yourself.”