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Chocs Away

Chocolatier Danesh Amin is a master confectionery craftsman and nationwide business owner who is unlike any entrepreneur of his age.

The 19-year-old has, for the last year, balanced his enterprise with full-time education at the University of Chichester's Business School to learn how to turn his sweet tooth into a worldwide seller. He explains why his life is more than just a box of chocolates.

Introducing the UK's youngest master chocolatier

Danesh Amin’s luxury chocolate lines the shelves of hundreds of sweet shops and superstores throughout the UK, however, he himself is far removed from the familiar confectionery creators. The young confiseur has, in the nine years since his first batch, established a nationwide enterprise and gained the momentous title of youngest master chocolatier in the country – all before completing his first year of university.

His products, marketed under the guise of Brocks Chocs, after his home village of Brockham in Surrey, are sold at his factory and shops across the south of England. They have so far attracted the interest of a selection (box) of retail giants including Amazon UK and Selfridges, and, more recently, were given the royal approval by Princess Anne.

“It has taken years of hard work but the dream I had nearly a decade ago has finally come true,” he says. “This has been my biggest growth year to date - both professionally and personally – as I have opened stores, created jobs, and furthered my education.”

 

 

From his parents' kitchen to nationwide acclaim

The young entrepreneur, a first-year student of Accounting and Finance at the University’s Business School, established Brocks Chocs at the age of ten in his parents’ kitchen. It was here that he and his mother would create confectionery to sell – for charity – outside of a nearby retail shop owned by his father: himself a businessman.

The luxury chocolate enterprise has grown exponentially in the nine years since its establishment and now employs 13 full and part-time staff to develop, market, and sell the confectionery. On following in his parents’ footsteps, Danesh adds: “I worked in the family shop every weekend growing up so was brought up in a business environment.

“Studying at Chichester has given me more of an understanding of how to run a business, and it’s great that I have my tutors on hand if I ever need advice or support. Ultimately my aim is to become a chartered accountant after I graduate so I can sort my own financial records, which are often the most expensive part of a business.”

 

 

On meeting the Princess Royal

Danesh’s full range of products – 48 in total – flavour from milk, plain, and white chocolate infused with chilli, lemon and gin, honey, and whisky. He admits he is most excited about his latest introduction, the luxury Malawi bars, which were developed during 18-months of research using Tanzanian chocolate.

It was these very products which caught the eye of Princess Anne on a visit to Danesh’s newly-opened factory earlier this year. The Princess Royal cut the ribbon to his 16 square-metre workshop, based at Brockham, which will mass-produce his luxury chocolate for shops around the world.

Danesh adds: “I was about to take my first university exam when I received a call from the Surrey Lieutenancy office asking if Princess Anne could attend the factory opening. It was a surreal experience: she arrived by helicopter and spent several hours talking with us, touring the floor, and sampling our products.

“She said she was very impressed with the business and, in particular, that I had achieved so much considering I was running a business and balancing full-time study. It made me excited about the future of the company.”

 

 

Entering into worldwide chocolate market

As part of his next venture, Danesh has identified a gap in the luxury chocolate market – the automotive industry – which he will exploit during a placement-year: a module of his degree. For the 12-month assignment, recommended for students of the Business School at Chichester, he hopes to work with manufacturers to giveaway his products to new car buyers.

He adds: “I am obviously responsible for my staff but I never feel pressured to choose between business and University. My education at Chichester has been very beneficial to the company and has opened my eyes to new possibilities.

“In ten years I want Brocks Chocs to be at the forefront of the international confectionery circuit. We are already being sold on Amazon and in Selfridge’s department store, but I am confident of breaking into Europe and then, hopefully, America and Asia.”

More about Danesh Amin’s rise to entrepreneur, undergraduate student, and master chocolatier, as well as his luxury products, can be found at www.brockschocs.co.uk.  Alternatively for more about the BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance degree which he is studying at the University of Chichester go to www.chi.ac.uk/business.