Chocolate-loving, thrill-seeking duo on a mission to ‘post’ Snowdon across the world

03 September 2018
Chocolate-loving visitors seeking adventure in North Wales can now keep their energy levels going and send novel holiday messages with the launch of The Mountain Chocolate Company.
 
Through their love of all things outdoors, Phil Nelson of Anglesey and Alun Jones of Conwy became firm friends whilst both working at Plas Menai centre on the Menai Straits. “We’re round about the same age but I’m definitely wiser,” says Phil.
 
Despite both men sharing a passion for all of North Wales’ adventures such as surfing and mountaineering, their career backgrounds couldn’t be more different. Up to 2016, Phil ran successful Llanberis-based innovative outdoor business, Surf-Lines, as well as undertaking consultancy work for the likes of Bangor University. Alun travelled the globe as a chartered surveyor, living in America, the Maldives and Poland before returning to Wales in 2017.   
 
Following his homecoming, Alun, with his already established gift shop ‘Conwy Gift Shop’, became more aware of the shortage of locally produced produce and the opportunity to create a chocolate bar to rival the Kendall Mint Cake or the Toblerone which helped encourage the creation of The Mountain Chocolate Company.
 
With his business partner, Phil, they discussed the possibilities and the end result was the creation of a chocolate bar that could be posted as a postcard.
 
“Now I suppose you could call us the Welsh Willy Wonkas,” Alun laughs.
 
The iconic 40’s-inspired postcard illustrations depict a time gone by with Phil describing the imagery used as “working equally well as a piece of art on the wall as well as packaging on a retailer’s shelf.
 
We wanted to create a gift item that gives a great sense of place as well as great taste.”
 
The packaging is eye-catching and would be a great addition to any stockists’ shelf, already selling at some of North Wales’ top tourist attractions such as Zip World and Surf Snowdonia, with other big Welsh attractions soon to stock.
 
Regarding the future of the brand, Phil shares his vision as believing that “the business can become a real stand-out brand for a quality chocolate gift item, with a style and function that can be applied to any tourist attraction or business throughout the UK.”
 
Other packaging designs for the company include; Stonehenge, Land’s End, London Tower Bridge and more to come.
 
The Welsh Government’s Food and drink development project, Cywain, has played a big part in The Mountain Chocolate Company journey, with Phil describing the support they have received as being “invaluable to this stage.”
 
Alun adds, “Cywain’s support has helped direct and sign-post us through this process whilst sharing food and drink expertise which have been vital to establishing this confectionery business.”.
 
Cywain Development Manager for North East Wales, Llior Radford described the men as “driven individuals with great intention of delivering a quality product. They have attended our workshops and regular meetings to enable them to fulfil their vision and I can only see them branching out to a national, if not global market”.
 
For more information and to view all of The Mountain Chocolate Company products, go to www.mountain-chocolate.co.uk

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