A FAMILY-run chocolate shop which has been in York more than two decades has taken its sweet treats online to get through lockdown.

Alan Cardy and his wife Karen took over Monk Bar Chocolatiers from his parents, Ray and Liz, in October - just before the Government shut down non-essential shops.

The couple hope their newly-launched website will be the boost they need to compensate for missing out on vital trade in the pre-Christmas shopping build-up.

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Ray and Liz established their first Monk Bar Chocolatiers shop in 1999 in the shadow of Monk Bar, with their second shop opening at No 7 Shambles in November 2002.

A few years later, the Monk Bar shop closed, with all operations moving to Shambles. All chocolates are made on site in small batches using couverture chocolate and the finest ingredients.

Alan who has worked in the business since 2003 said the shop handover had always been planned for this time in their lives.

“But we didn’t expect the circumstances to be like this," he said. "It has given us a challenge straight away. We didn’t have a website but in June we realised we had to get one.”

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They launched their monkbar.com website on October 19 along with Facebook and Instagram sites.

“What’s unique about us is that people can come in and choose their favourite chocolates,” said Alan. “We wanted it to be like that on the website. You click on the box you want and the chocolates, and the box fills up; it’s the same as being in the shop in essence.

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“The orders have started to come in now. We are hoping it will get us through the second lockdown. We were planning it anyway but then had the big push. It is going well. We are getting orders every day and it seems to be ramping up. People are enjoying being able to fill their boxes.”

Delivery is £4.99, or free if the order is more than £50. Orders have been coming in from across the country, with past visitors to York among the customers.

“We make all the chocolates on site ourselves," said Alan. "Today I have made 900 chocolates. It can be anything from 500 to 2,000 at peak times. I don’t think we will get up to those numbers this Christmas.”

Alan said the support they received meant a lot. “It puts a smile on our face as a family that we are earning the money to pay the bills. It is about that 'support local' - behind the counter is a family trying to pay a mortgage."

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