Hampshire: Ex-Thorntons’ directors back chocolate factory

A Hampshire man so debilitated by food intolerances that he hadn’t eaten chocolate for 15 years has unveiled his own range of chocolate treats after spending four years perfecting the ultimate recipe.

Now backed by two former directors of Thorntons, Chris Crutchley’s Enjoy! range of naturally fabulous chocolates includes the UK’s first vegan caramel filled bars and vegan caramel filled buttons.

The investment has enabled Crutchley and his team to create new products and transform their factory in Hampshire.

It’s a turnaround for the 55-year-old who for decades had struggled with intolerances to dozens of types of food which prevented him from eating chocolate.

“For my whole life I have loved chocolate, but my body isn’t able to tolerate the allergens in most bars so I missed out for a number of years,” said Crutchley.

“None of the free from alternatives came anywhere near to hitting the spot taste-wise so I started experimenting with my own recipes in our kitchen at home using organic, raw and natural ingredients.”

Indeed, Enjoy!’s base recipe contains just three organic ingredients – cacao powder, cacao butter and coconut sugar.

“I was so pleased and proud to create a range of chocolates that were not only delicious but could be enjoyed by all chocolate lovers – regardless of their dietary requirements,” he explained.

“And now we have the 12 new investors on board, the sky’s the limit.”

Enjoy! takes the wraps off its latest product range which now boasts 26 SKUs, and all recipes are free from the 14 main allergens including dairy, soya and gluten. In addition, there’s no refined sugar, they’re organic and suitable for vegans.

Investor Hannah Legg, former marketing director at Thorntons and now sales and marketing director at Enjoy!, said: “It was clear from day one that Chris had created something very special and I’m delighted to be working with him to help shape what the future looks like.

“The brand is a major transformation, our ambition is huge and we’re already in discussions with some of the best names in retail who are keen to sell our products.

“What has struck me is not only Chris’ dedication to the cause but the product is genuinely the nicest chocolate I’ve ever eaten. Whether you have food intolerances, are vegan or a chocaholic, the joy of Enjoy! is here for everyone.”