Small Brand Spotlight: Langleys Rocky Road, luxury Belgian chocolate

Every week, we shine a spotlight on the best small brands we think are worth shouting about. We love our great British high street, but there are so many fantastic independent brands out there making clothes, accessories, homeware and more from a place of passion and love and we need to support them – now more than ever.

From fashion and beauty to homeware, accessories and food, we bring you the best small businesses you need on your radar. And with Easter approaching, what better time to chat with Amanda Langley, founder and director of her luxury Belgian chocolate brand Langleys Rocky Road.

Amanda Langley
Etsy

How did Langleys come to life?

My husband and I adopted two children and my career in law didn’t allow me the flexibility to be at home as much as I wanted to be with my children. We were moving to Cornwall and I wanted to work in a more creative environment. I have always loved cooking and found it was a really great way to spend time with my family. My chocolate rocky road was a firm favourite with family and friends who were always telling me how amazing it was and that I should sell it. So, I decided that I should take the leap and my business was born.

I wanted to show my children that life is about not having regrets. At least if it didn’t work out, I would have tried and learnt from my journey. I was very lucky to train at the Chocolate Academy, which helped me to gain the skills I have now. I started in my kitchen making very small batches and now have my own production unit with my faithful chocolate machines Umpa and Lumpa (I know, but you have to stick to the theme).

Langleys Rocky Road box of chocolates
Etsy

What three words would describe Langleys Rocky Road?

The chocolates: ‘Don’t miss out.’ The business: ‘Never dull, rewarding.’

Who is Langleys Rocky Road for?

I have always wanted my chocolate to be accessible so that it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible, but I understand that there are some limitations. It’s really important that I use the right ingredients, so no palm oil, and my packaging is eco-friendly, sustainable and comes from other local UK businesses. It’s important to me that when someone buys my product, they are not only supporting my small business but other UK businesses, which in turn have made it possible for me to support schemes such as carbon capture. I firmly believe that I am part of a business community.

Langleys Rocky Road Easter eggs
Instagram/@langleysrockyroad

Tell me about your chocolate design (and taste testing!) process.

I normally use my time in the summer to think about new products and do lots of trying and testing. My chief taster and critic is my husband (and trust me he never sugar coats his opinion), closely followed by my two children.

My inspiration comes from the great producers right here in Cornwall and from my love of chocolate and food. I feel that it’s important to get wider feedback which is why pre-Covid I always enjoyed doing local events, so I could talk to my customers and get to see the ‘rocky road faces’. If there is anyone who isn’t 100 per cent on a flavour, it doesn’t get made.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Typically, there is no typical work day! The only thing that is regular is that I like to get an early start. The sunrises that I can see from my Roost [Amanda’s production unit] are spectacular and there really is nothing quite like it to start the day.

One of the biggest challenges as a small business owner is being flexible. I always have a plan but typically it changes several times during the day and I have become an expert at crisis management.

Langleys Rocky Road chocolates
Etsy

What’s the best thing about running your own business? And the most challenging?

I love the fact that I get to make decisions quickly and I think this has been a real advantage during the last few years, as I could make quick changes within my business and react to what was going on.

My biggest challenge is the isolation. I have been used to working in a busy office environment as part of a team and now I work largely on my own. However, I am really lucky to have several amazing businesses in Nansledan, Newquay, where I live and we all support each other, whether it’s coffee and cake or practical help.

Langleys Rocky Road wedding favours
Etsy

The best moment so far?

In business, it should be the 14 Taste of the West awards I have won. However, for me it was seeing my first pallet of Easter eggs disappear into the back of a HGV – such a difference from the hand deliveries of the small batches made in my kitchen.

However, I won’t forget the moment when at my first event, my gazebo, all new and branded, was blown away by the wind! It makes me smile now, but at the time, let’s just say there was nearly a vacancy for a new chief taster!

Which of your chocolates is your favourite?

This one is easy: Lime & Seasalt. I was inspired to make it by my dad’s love of limes and I have just never managed to knock it off my personal top spot.

Langleys Rocky Road chocolate gift

Anything exciting in the pipeline?

I’m working on some exciting new flavours for Christmas and next Easter. I can’t give details just yet but it will be really unique and will include some amazing Cornish produce.

Also, this year I’m doing wedding favours for the first time and I’m really excited about working with brides to add to their special day.

YOU’s 3 favourite things:

salted caramel Easter egg
Etsy

Milk Chocolate Easter Egg with Salted Caramel Rocky Road, from £16, Etsy

sea salt rock road
Etsy

Cornish Seasalt Rocky Road, £3.95, Etsy

mixed box of chocolates
Etsy

Assorted Rocky Road Chocolates, £9.95, Etsy

Shop Langleys Rocky Road at etsy.com and langleysrockyroad.co.uk and follow @langleysrockyroad.