Update from Claire & Andy as of April 8th 2020 on our mail order service and local Swanage deliveries
Claire & Andy here to say a huge thankyou to you all for the wonderful support you have shown us over these past very difficult weeks. Our Chocolate House teams were so touched by all the messages of support that were sent after we closed them back in March and they are all itching to get back to work as they are all missing you!
Our team at Chococo HQ in Wareham have worked their socks off these past weeks - we are a small team anyway but it got even smaller when we lost key chocolatiers & packing team members to shielding & isolation. As the safety of our team is our number 1 priority, we also put in place extreme distancing measures which meant that we could only have a few people on site at any one time to make, pack & despatch your Easter mail orders.
Instead of the usual 8-10 people in each of our making & packing rooms, we only had 2-3 max and upstairs, where there are usually 5 of us in our office to help answer phones, we only ever had 1 person in at a time...boy was that weird!
Our team have been totally brilliant and we are so proud of the way that they rose to the challenge so magnificently, working really odd hours to ensure that we didn't have too many people on site at any one time, with some working from home too. It did mean that hours were long & we were all working every day at some point to keep on top of everything to get your Easter orders out in time.
The lack of people and distancing requirements meant that we couldn't make our full range as normal, (it has also made us appreciate just how closely we together when making & packing our chocolates by hand), & we did sell out of most of our boxed Easter eggs earlier than we expected to or would have liked, as we hate not being able to satisfy everyone.
However, we hope that we managed to keep going with enough variety for you and we couldn't have done any more than we did, given the constraints we were working with.
Given that Royal Mail are themselves struggling to keep on top of deliveries (and have advised us to expect delays across all their various services), and that Friday is a Bank Holiday with no postal delivery anyway, we decided that today would be our last posting day this week. We do not want to give anyone the false impression that if they order from now on, that they could still get items delivered by Saturday.
Chococo HQ is now closed until late next week to give our team a much needed rest after these very intense and surreal weeks, so please do not call or email and expect an immediate response. Please rest assured that ALL your orders have been despatched and if they haven't arrived as quickly as you expected, that is down to Royal Mail having their own challenges - please be gentle on them, they are having a tough time too.
We are still taking online orders but for delivery from w/c 20th April now.
However, that is not the end of our Easter story, if you live in Swanage or surrounding villages in Purbeck, we can still deliver to you! We have converted our house in Swanage into a temporary storage depot for the last of our various cello wrapped Easter eggs & also a selection of ongoing items including; selection boxes, studded slabs, mini bars, tubs of buttons, orange segments (yes we have a few of those!), turkish delight, hot chocolate flakes etc.
Our dining room table is now our office and I (Claire) am manning the phone, whilst Andy is delivering in the Chococo van - Chococo has truly gone back to its cottage industry roots, now based out of Bay Cottage for the next week or so!
So, if you would like to place an order for local delivery for Easter, please give me a call on our hotline number 01929 408288 from 9ish in the mornings and I will let you know what stocks we have left. You can pay for your order over the phone and we will aim to get your order out to you as soon as possible. We will be manning the phone for the rest of this week, including Maundy Thursday & Good Friday (all day) & Easter Saturday (9am-noon, to give us time to deliver in the afternoon), but not Easter Sunday!
Click here to read more about local deliveries and pictures of the eggs that we still have available.
Thank you again for your support, please take care of yourselves and we hope that you all have as wonderful an Easter as possible, given the circumstances.
Claire & Andy Burnet, on behalf of all the team