CHOCOHOLICS have an excuse to indulge this weekend, with the Easter holiday just around the corner.
One Gold Coast manufacturing plant, Lucia Chocolates, is offering a healthier alternative to the typical Easter egg, producing carob delicacies that are supplied to natural health food shops up and down the Coast.
While the family business produces more than 80 different kinds of treats including chocolate coated ginger and yoghurt coated mangoes and prunes, it is the no-added sugar carob products that are proving the most popular, says owner Lucia Argyrou (pictured).
Founded 20 years, the business has grown from manufacturing chocolate lollipops on a stick to supplying more than 250 stores around the country.
"In our panning department, we can produce more than a tonne a week, and then in the enrobing department we probably do 400 kilograms a week of product," says Argyrou.
Lucia Chocolates concentrates on wholesale and supplies interstate to a number of businesses including Flannery's and Go Vita Health Stores.
"A lot of other manufacturers have gone into retail, but you are missing out on concentrating on the service and quality to your wholesalers," says Argyrou.
"We have looked at branching out in the past and doing something different but as a boutique chocolate shop, we are happy at the moment concentrating on making quality chocolate and looking after our customers.
"We have our hours, we work four and a half days a week, have our weekends to ourselves and we take three weeks' holiday and we don't have to worry about opening and closing shop doors and waiting for customers to walk in."
Lucia Chocolates is also a contract manufacturer and can coat any product with chocolate to suit individual businesses.
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