A CHOCOLATE shop, which opened in the heart of York, is set to close after its owner posted an emotional message.

Just a stone’s throw from York Minster in High Petergate, chocolatier Karen Waller and her partner Jordan Murphy, opened Tempt vegan chocolate shop in March last year.

Karen took on the former Mullen and Mullen shop at 16, High Petergate, having worked, among other places, for Rococo in London where she was head chocolatier for three years.

Now in a post on the businesses social media platforms, Karen said she is closing the shop on August 20.

She said: "There are many reasons behind the decision. Of course starting an ethical, artisanal, vegan, plant-based chocolaterie in a pandemic, in a city centre was always going to have its challenges. Covid was one thing, but increased costs and reduced spending have just made it that bit harder.

"But I don’t want to focus on the negatives. Tempt has been a place of kindness and positivity, and I want to keep it that way. I’ve been a chocolatier for 15 years. It’s been a rollercoaster for 95% of that time. Tempt is a happy bubble, where I can do what I love, whilst proving that dairy isn’t necessary to have amazing chocolate.

"So, why? Is it entirely financial? No. The chocolates at Tempt are labour-intensive, which means it’s physically demanding. Running the business plus making everything has been fun, but it’s a lot - mentally and emotionally.

"Tempt has been a huge success in every way.

"Frankly, I’ve worked my little ass off for the last 18 months and the company is in a strong position if I did want to grow it. But this is where personal choice comes in. I have experience of the industry at all kinds of levels, and I’ve mulled over the options to grow the business, but it just doesn’t feel right for me.

"I’m so happy I did it though! There’s something magical about chocolate. Mix together chocolate with a largely vegan customer base and it’s a powerful combination. People open up and share their stories with me. I’ve met wonderful people, some of whom have influenced thinking of what I want from my life.

"So the decision is based principally on one main thing: a conscious decision to be kinder to myself and to acknowledge that it’s time for something new.

"One last note - nobody is going to miss my chocolate more than me! I’m trying not to be sad, but rather to look on it as it was a wonderful thing while it lasted- better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."