The award-winning artisan chocolates being produced from a ‘garden kitchen’ in Birchington

Nik receiving his Taste of Kent award for his beautiful bespoke bon-on chocolates

Gorgeous handmade chocolates crafted in a purpose-built kitchen at the bottom of a garden in Birchington have scooped a top title at the Taste of Kent Awards.

Little more than one year after setting up his business, Nik Robinson of The Chocolate Pig was awarded gold in the confectionary category for his filled bon-bons.

Nik began his bespoke chocolate venture in April last year following his retirement from the police force.

He had previously been with Kent Police in Margate from 1992 and spent 15 years working in uniform and CID until moving into Counter Terrorism Intelligence retirement.

The job took Nik all over the UK and Europe, including Belgium and Holland which were areas that tied into his love of cooking – and chocolate.

​Nik’s chocolates are handmade from design and colour to the fillings using ingredients that are local – with fruits such as lemon and strawberries grown in his garden.

Nik, 52, said: “There are not too many other people that do this style of chocolates in the area.

“From start to finish, including fillings, is a three day process.”

Dad-of-two Nik makes all the fillings, makes and moulds the chocolate and then has to include time for tempering and setting.

The finished results are a fantastic, shiny array of treats  with cocoa butter colouring meaning the designs are vibrant. Fillings are equally diverse, ranging from fruits, caramels and ganache to martinis and mojitos and more.

One of the important elements for Nik is keeping it local – including using produce from his own garden and pick your own farms.

He said: “I want to keep learning and keep trying to collaborate with local, Thanet and Kent, producers, suppliers, restaurants and hotels. I’m keen to be as local as I can.

“The strawberries are grown myself, I also grown my own lemons in my garden. I am friends with Karly’s Kitchen and she is a fantastic grower with some that is left over heading my way.”

The summer is slightly quieter for Nik’s business as his products do not travel well in heat so postal delivery and markets are best in the cooler months. The cost of living also means some businesses are scaling back on luxuries, such a hotel’s ‘pillow chocolates’ or corporate gifting.

Despite this Nik has worked with businesses including The Powell Bar, Restaurant and Rooms in Birchington and No 9 and Chapel House wedding venues and is hoping to connect with other hotels and hospitality venues.

Winning the award from Taste of Kent has been a wonderful bonus for Nik. He said: “I was surprised to be nominated and then to come first, I’m so happy and grateful.”

Find out more about The Chocolate Pig by clicking here



    • Blimey, one day you will make a positive comment. It’s a small Thanet business, striving to create something special and using other small Thanet/Kent businesses for produce. Those businesses mean money in the Thanet economy so we can have traders at markets and pop-ups and, for some, shops. If you want an Asda fruit and nut then that’s fine but if you want something special then you have that option too.

      • Agreed Kathy, but if we are celebrating a small bespoke chocolate business as good for the local economy, what about attracting some big business creating lots of jobs surely that’s what Thanet needs and always has. But I do appreciate you always being positive Kathy and I’ll try and give them some business.

        • Yes we need big business too but the article was a celebration of one of our small businesses and I just didn’t see the need for negativity (I’m not always positive, some things are not worthy of it)

  1. Well done Nik.

    We look forward to you joining us soon, when the weather is cooler.

    You will be joining multi award winning Cliftonville Farmers’ Market, with many award winning stallholders, Karly’s Kitchen being one of them.

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