A UK Cypriot woman who went viral after creating a unique chocolate bar stuffed with crisps is set to open her first shop in Billericay.
Maria Antoniou, a 47-year-old chocolatier from Essex, divided opinion online after creating the “bar of Crisps” – a chocolate bar filled with crisps.
After seeing her videos go viral on TikTok, and appearing on This Morning with her chocolate-crisp concoctions, she has now outgrown her room at home where she was taking orders and sending out product.
Now she is set to open her first store, with plans in place to open Chocolate Moments in September at a unit in Barleylands.
Maria said: “I am so excited, it is a huge and important step for me, and I believe it is necessary in order for my business to grow and expand too. I have signed a year lease, but I hope to be there for a long, long time if it all works out.
“At the moment we have three flavours of the Bar of Crisps – ready salted, cheese and onion, and salt and vinegar. But we are always open to suggestions, we will have a vegan version next, then will start to create many more winning crisp combinations. I will also be selling brownies, branded chocolates for businesses, personalised chocolates, and much more.
“It is undeniable that chocolate makes people happy, and I think that it is really important for people not to feel guilty about having a little indulgent moment.”
Maria came up with the idea in lockdown while sitting on the sofa eating crisps and chocolates while binge watching box sets.
She said she had a “lightbulb moment” about the sweetness of the chocolate being cut through by the saltiness of the crisps, and thought why no one had made this before. So she started making small 45g bars in her workroom and followers on social media loved them.
“I was inundated with orders and requests,” Maria said. “The new shop will allow me to run workshops, including making decorated lollies, chocolate bars, rocky roads, decorated strawberries, and so many more.”