Don’t let the elephant out of his pen, he doesn’t get on with the other animals. That’s how my conversation with the owner of Saw Chocolate started. Bearing in mind that Saw Chocolate is based on Hoe Street, you will no doubt understand why I was slightly surprised to be discussing elephants, you just don’t see many of them in East London. The mystery was cleared up when the owner pointed to a toy elephant standing on a table in the front of the shop. To be honest, my attention didn’t stay on the elephant for very long, I was soon distracted by the neatly packed boxes of handmade chocolate that line the table and shelves in this tiny shop. This, I thought to myself, is like a tiny piece of heaven.
Saw Chocolate really is a small shop, but there is a lot packed in to the space. The front section of the narrow shop is the sales floor. A large table doubles up as a display area and shop counter, and there are shelving units snuggled against the walls. Here you can gaze at the hand crafted goodies and make every attempt not to buy them, but unless your will power is running at full strength, it’s unlikely you leave without purchasing. Just like the shop in Mr Benn, it’s the back of the premises where the magic happens, as that’s where the chocolate is made.
In the Walthamstow equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, the brains behind Saw Chocolate makes peanut brittle, dates covered in dark chocolate, salted caramel, truffles, and pistachio and salt rounders. White chocolate, dark chocolate, honeycomb, mint chocolate, and bars of orange and ginger chocolate, in fact, almost any kind of chocolate you could think of is in the shop. It’s a chocolate lovers paradise, I’m drooling just thinking about it and may need to go and lie down.
I freely admit that I love chocolate, if it wasn’t for the fact it would make me sick and I would get enormously fat, I would eat it all the time. My inability to ignore chocolate if it’s in the house means that I have to ration my visits to this shop, but it’s always exciting when I do visit. What’s going to be on shelves? Which flavours and smells are going to tempt me? Will the chocolate even make it home or I will eat all on the way back? I’m getting carried away again so I think it’s time to go and find what I bought on today’s visit and stuff my face. If like me you can’t resist chocolate, go and find this magical little shop at 72 Hoe Street. You can also check it out on Facebook.