How it all began...
A lifelong chocoholic, as a child Zara eagerly shared her passion with her chocolate-loving grandmother. Growing up, Zara's favourite treat was the chocolate cake - think light vanilla sponge topped with a thick layer of milk chocolate - made by her grandmother. Simple, but always comforting.
Chocolate proved an enduring passion in Zara’s life; evidenced when her school friends, with great foresight, voted her 'Most likely to become Willy Wonka' and 'Most likely to take over Cadbury World'. After school, Zara set out to learn more about fine chocolate and the process of making her own.
After completing the École Chocolat Professional Chocolatier Programme and equipped with a broad knowledge of the history of chocolate and the means by which to create her own, Zara began experimenting in her home kitchen. Fusing different flavours and finding unique pairings to combine with high quality chocolate cemented Zara’s passion for this path and she resolved to continue learning and improving. Her closest friends and family didn’t feel too hard done by in their role as official tasters either!
After selling her chocolates at markets around Bristol, Zara sought out a more permanent base for her business and, after teaming up with Ivory Flowers, opened a shop on North Street, Southville on 30th November 2013. 228 North Street – half chocolate shop, half florist – is a beautiful addition to the thriving independent community, here you could see Zara and fellow chocolatier, Helen, hand-crafting truffles and a whole range of tempting treats. The combination of Zara’s Chocolates and Ivory Flowers under one roof creates a wonderfully visual and fragrant sensation - what could be more indulgent or express more love than chocolates and flowers?
In 2014, Zara's Chocolates was nominated for a Bristol Good Food Award, this came as a complete surprise to Zara, as it was the lovely people of Bristol who had submitted the nomination. Zara was further taken aback to actually win the award in 2014, 2015, 2016, and again for 2018. Such wonderful plaudits brought with them the opportunity to work with the late Sir Terry Wogan in 2015. Terry filmed a portion of his BBC show, Terry and Mason’s Great Food Trip, at the shop and helped Zara to construct a chocolate SS Great Britain ahead of Bristol’s Taste Chocolate Festival.
Keeping production on a small scale and making everything by hand, in-store in an open kitchen, are central values for Zara's Chocolates. Whether you pick up an enticing Black Pepper and Strawberry white chocolate bar or a selection of seasonal, fresh truffles, each and every item has been made with passion and skill.
All of the flourishes and decoration are created by hand and Zara’s Chocolates has become renowned for producing consistently excellent chocolate and innovative flavour combinations.
Feedback & Press
We just wanted to say thank you so much for doing our wedding favours. Everyone absolutely loved them and said they tasted delicious. From the very beginning, you've been great at keeping us updated and responding quickly to emails, so thank you.
Emma & Joe, April 2017
Bristol Post, February 2017
Bristol Post, March 2016
Saw the lovely Zara at our WI meeting this evening at Brislington WI. Her chocolate is fantastic. The flavour combinations are incredible. I have just tried some Mint Chilli Crisp Bites, Lavender & Mint and Haiti & Sour Cherry which were all amazing. Definitely chocolate to be savoured rather than scoffed! Thank you Zara
Angela Fittall, April 2017
About our chocolate workshops:
Wow.... thank you for a wonderful experience! It was absolutely great fun and highly recommended!
June Griffiths, Feb 2016
We just received some of your chocolates as a gift from our friends at WorkBrands – the salted caramels are AMAZING!
Thank you – just wanted to let you know.
All the best,
Just a quick email to say thank you so much for the chocolate making workshop on Saturday. Everyone really enjoyed it and Sara thought it was brilliant. I've been to a couple of chocolate making sessions before and yours was by far the most fun...and the chocolates we made looked fantastic. I would definitely recommend you.
Greta, Hen party June 2014
The Bristol Magazine, February 2015
The following is a list of all the awesome people who backed our crowdfunding project on Kickstarter.
This project ran throughout June and July of 2018 and the generosity of the folk below enabled us to move to a new shop, kit out a fantastic (much larger!) kitchen and bring our Hot Chocolate Bar
dreams to life!
Thank you - we wouldn't be here without you x
Competitive Socialising Ltd
Julie and Bob
Lee & Emma Griffin
Anne L. Le Maistre
Jag and Alexandra Notay
Ema & Patrick
The Shard Family
Fiona Coleman (@love_wine_wine_not)
Sarah Langford Fitness
Claire & Tom Maddalena
Pete and Lucy Croft
Laura Leigh Chapman
Hilary & Mark
Ken & Joanna Booth
Adam, Jess and Eric!
Helen & Paul Jones
Mr Avradeep Chakrabarti
Pamela S Connor
Pres. F. Von Clownstick
The Little Selfs
Matt and Heléna
Matthew & Diana
Tak Leung Hung
A chocolate lover
Jo & Joe
Hugh Evans... one of the Chocolate Dinosaurs
Evie, at Bristol Pilates Studio