Chocolatier and retired headteacher’s sweet dreams become reality with relocation to Royal Arcade in Norwich

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

Stonemasons from historic building conservation specialists WallWalkers begin restoration work on the spire of Norwich Cathedral, which stands at over 312ft high. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 27, 2020. The first known spire was completed in 1297 and was a timber frame with lead covering. The current spire, which is constructed of a brick cone with stone facing, was thought to have been designed by Robert Everard and built in the 15th century, records suggest it may have been completed in 1485 and that the pine internal framing was replaced in 1772. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Angela Ruthven has finally relocated her chocolate shop to Norwich city centre, achieving her dream of a store in the Royal Arcade (Photo: Joe Giddens/PA)

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.”


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