Award Winning Handmade Chocolates by Rumsey's

Rumsey's Handmade Chocolates wins... Family Business of the Year

We are over the moon to have won Family Business of the Year in the Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2021. The award was announced on 25th May with a surprise visit to our chocolaterie in Wendover. 

Here is an interview with our Managing Director, Kate Rumsey about it:

Did you feel confident when you entered?

No! I entered back in January, amid the chaos caused by another hospitality lockdown. Handmade chocolate production was in full swing ahead of Valentine's Day and Easter so life at Rumsey's was still busy. It had been on my to do list for a couple of weeks but like so many parents I was also in the depths of home schooling the littlest Rumsey's and feeling completely overwhelmed. So at about 8pm on the deadline day for entries, I thought "it's now or never!" and set about writing our entry. 

Why do you think the judges chose Rumsey's Handmade Chocolates?

I think we were able to demonstrate how we ensure the families best interests are aligned to that of the business: including succession planning, investing in our local communities and caring for our people (our extended family!). Our story starts from the kitchen table where Nigel Rumsey first started making his artisan handmade chocolates and truffles. Like so many family businesses, we've had highs and lows but have absolutely stayed true to our believes that chocolate is something special and that handmade really matters, and I think the judges saw that passion.

How many family members are involved?

Well I think almost every member of the family has been involved at some point or other to be honest! Working full time in the business currently are the founders Nigel and Mary Rumsey, as well as myself as part of the second generation. At busy times (and definitely a lot throughout the pandemic) other family members help out - everything from wrapping Easter Eggs to making c deliveries. Oh and my children, aged 4 & 6 are chief ice cream tasters too!

What makes a Family Business special?

Independent family-run businesses like us are able to take a more long-term view without the day-to-day pressures from investors. We genuinely care about the people will employee and the communities we live in, and that impacts the decisions we make, more than simply turning a profit. We are passionate about creating the very best handmade chocolates and also about keeping it in our family for generations to come. It is our name, it is as personal as it gets!

What does winning mean to Rumsey's Handmade Chocolates?

In what has been an incredibly tough year for hospitality, I am proud to receive this recognition. Our family, like many others, have faced challenges throughout the last year and have worked extremely hard to make our business successful whilst supporting those around us. For us to win this award creates a positive atmosphere for the surrounding communities as well as our almost fifty strong team. The champagne is on ice, ready to be popped as soon as we can celebrate with the whole everyone together.

The award is currently displayed in Rumsey's Wendover chocolaterie and you can see the moment the judges surprised them here:

As you may (or may not) know Rumsey's Handmade Chocolates have made some changes over the last year. These changes have been made to refocus us on our ambition to make the very best handmade chocolates. When we first opened almost 20 years ago our vision was to create a wonderful chocolaterie; a place you'd come to buy our handmade chocolates and, if the mood struck, enjoy a hot chocolate or piece of cake whilst watching our chocolatiers at work.

We are now going back to that ethos. Whilst the last 18 months have been difficult we have had a record-breaking year of our online sales. Kate Rumsey, Managing Director said "I feel so proud to know our chocolates are now being enjoyed across every corner of the UK."

Over the last year the team at Rumsey’s Handmade Chocolates made gradual changes to the chocolate filled website, a highlight being the new "Create Your Own" section which aims to replicate the experience of selecting chocolates in person from our display cabinet. This has been a big hit with customers now being able to select the exact combination of flavours to suit their specific tastes.

Rumsey's army of loyal fans locally is growing larger every day, with now almost 2,500 from across the UK now subscribed to hear more chocolate news and be kept up to date on new product ranges and seasonal chocolates.

Kate Rumsey continued "One of the biggest positives of this last year is receiving incredible reviews and feedback from new customers. We have so many % star trustpilot reviews and each time one comes in it makes us smile." The teams most recent favourite chocolate reviews were:

"Life would be perfect if I could eat nothing but Rumsey's chocolates.
But having them as a treat - one a day - makes them all the more special.
I love the distinctiveness and depth of the flavours, the size of the chocolates (a good mouthful), and being able to make a selection of just my favourites.
Definitely my favourite chocolatier."
"Stunning chocolates!
I've tried handmade chocolates from every corner of the country over many, many years and these are simply amazing!
Right now, there's stiff competition from one or two others, but of all the independent chocolatiers, department stores and specialist high street brands I've tried, these are in a league of their own. I don't say that lightly..."

The team at Rumsey's work incredibly hard to ensure every chocolate that is made is of perfect quality. Individually hand made and hand wrapped. We believe that chocolate is something special and that you can taste the quality of craft that comes from being handmade. Whilst the Rumsey's chocolaterie menu may no longer include savouries it is more than made up for by the stunningly delicious range of chocolate, cakes and ice creams. The future looks bright, and chocolate filled!

June 07, 2021