Cherie Flitton and her husband, John, have brought a touch of England to their shop, Chocolates by Lorada, which opened last January in Dilworth.
Cherie owned a similar store near London in Leighton Buzzard, a town in Bedfordshire, England, from 1986 to 1991. A photograph of it hangs in the Dilworth shop.
Chocolates by Lorada takes its name from combining parts of the first names of the Flittons’ two grown children, Lorraine and Adam.
“We are very much a close family, and I think that shows when people come in here and we talk about family and, you know, make them feel welcome,” Cherie said.
Handmade chocolate truffles with Belgian chocolate and fresh cream are on the menu in flavors such as rosemary, tiramisu, honey-cardamom and black muscat with blueberry.
There’s also a bacon truffle.
“I find a lot of people come in and they want it for their husbands or their boyfriends,” Cherie said. “It’s more of a masculine chocolate, really.”
The two best-selling flavors are caramel and peanut butter, said Cherie, noting that peanut butter is not as popular in England as it is in the United States.
Cherie and John said they hosted an event with Freedom School during the summer. They invited a group of young participants to visit the shop to learn about communication and customer service skills necessary to operate a small business.
Freedom Schools are summer enrichment programs offered at sites in Charlotte and other cities.
“I was aware of Freedom School because I had done a project with them before I had the chocolate store, and my passion is for children,” Cherie said.
The students saw the machinery in the kitchen, dipped giant marshmallows in chocolate and did other activities, she said.
There also was a competition among students to create a new flavor of truffle to sell in the shop. The winner was Eboni Broadway of Sedgefield Middle School, and her strawberry cream cheese truffle.
The Flittons said for each strawberry cream cheese truffle they sell, they will donate 40 percent of the proceeds to Freedom School Partners, a nonprofit organization that provides Freedom School programs in Charlotte.
Owning a chocolate shop now is a different experience than it was many years ago in England, according to Cherie.
“People want to know the chocolate content, the sugar content,” she said.
It was John’s skill at hand-engraving work that prompted the couple to move to Charlotte from England in 1992. He came here to join Morrison Smith Fine & Custom Jewelers, he said.
John said he works as a self-employed engraver when he’s not busy helping Cherie in the chocolate shop.
Hope Yancey is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Hope? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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