Mrs Potts Chocolate House is a small business who serve a selection of chocolate inspired desserts, hot chocolates, milkshakes, coffee and tea. They have a selection of tasty treats in both Vegan and Gluten Free options, meaning there is something there for everyone. Their Bristol store is on Deliveroo, meaning you can get desserts delivered directly to your door, and all unsold food is donated to the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, for staff and families of the patients to enjoy, meaning that no food goes to waste.
For my Professional Practice module in Photography, I had to find a local business to be my client and who I could take photos for. I decided to approach Mrs Potts Chocolate House as I love their little shop in Park Street, Bristol and wanted to gain some insight into their industry.
They have a range of desserts to purchase including brownies, cupcakes, cookies, cookie sandwiches and slices of whole cakes. My favourite at the moment is their Walnut Brownie as it’s just the right amount of chocolate and nuts and it doesn’t fall apart as soon as you start eating it, which is a bonus in my books. They also have chocolate dipping pots that you can share or have all to yourself. You can choose from white, milk or dark melted chocolate and have a selection of strawberries, banana, marshmallows and madeleines to dip. If you’re sharing, you have two choices of chocolate and all of the selection to dip, and for one, you have one pot of chocolate and two choices from the selection to dip.
They pride themselves on how they make their hot chocolates with only the finest chocolate and milk, and nothing else. Their hot chocolates range from a White 28% to a very original 100% – the percentage is the amount of pure chocolate they use.
Their White 28% has a smooth and silky melt-in-your-mouth texture with a minimal sweetness and they use pure cocoa butter flavour with a rich creamy note and lingering vanilla finish. With their Roasted White 28%, they slowly roast white chocolate, brown the cocoa butter and caramelise the milk and sugar to result in a deep, complex flavour with toasted nutty and caramel tones.
The Milk 38% is a bold, rich, upfront chocolate flavour that is accented with subtle caramel tones, a lingering hint of cinnamon, fresh dairy flavour, and a spicy finish – plus, it’s Fairtrade.
The Classic 54% is their signature blend of the finest flavour beans that produce a rich, robust chocolate flavour and a distinct vanilla character – not to worry, vegan options are available.
The Dark 72% is a deep, rich, unsurpassed chocolate flavour that also has vegan options available.
The Very Original 100% is very bitter, but it gives way to a subtle floral sweetness that is Fairtrade and sugar free.
Fortunately, they accepted my proposal and informed me about their new shop opening in Bath, where they wanted me to take photos of their staff training, Family & Friends Night, VIP Night and Grand Opening. They contributed towards half of my train ticket cost and were so lovely and friendly throughout the whole experience.
Each day, I was introduced to each member of staff so I could familiarise myself with them, then I was left to my own devices to photograph any aspect of the shop that I wanted to. It was very enjoyable to be thrown into their working environment and be surrounded by tasty treats all day long; I even had work perks of unlimited drinks and cakes. As the days progressed, I grew working relationships with all members of staff and they were more than happy to aid me in whatever way they could to secure a great shot and get me everything I needed.
Each customer that came in through their door was greeted with a warm welcome and were invited to sit down and relax before coming to the front to order. I found this personal approach to be so much more friendly and inviting than other coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa, as there you seem to be a list to get through, rather than actual people. Also, if you don’t have the time to sit down and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat, you can order it to go and they will package it up for you with no extra charge.
All of the members of staff look after and care for each other, and they’re not harsh on those having a bad day or needing a day off. One member of staff had come down with the cold and was very run down, but she still came into work. The other members of staff encouraged her to take breaks and ushered her upstairs where she could do some paperwork instead of running the shop floor, meaning it was a little easier for her to manage.
After I had taken a series of photos and had begun to edit them, I was repeatedly approached by a member of staff and asked if I would like a drink or a cake to keep me going. I found this to be really lovely and highlighted how much care and time they put into each customer. Towards the end of my time with Mrs Potts Chocolate House, I didn’t want to leave as I felt like I had become included in their little family.
I feel so thankful and lucky to have this opportunity and I hope that I will be able to return to Mrs Potts Chocolate House in the future to photograph more of their exciting events. If you are struggling to find somewhere warm and inviting to go, take a little visit to their shops in either Bristol or Bath – I promise it’s as good as it looks.