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‘Easter is cancelled’: Norfolk’s ‘Mr Chocolate’ gives away Easter eggs he can’t sell

PUBLISHED: 15:13 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:47 02 April 2020

Digby Eddison, pictured with his Easter chocolate eggs at Harald's in Cromer which he has had now closed because of coronavirus. Pic: Archant

Digby Eddison, pictured with his Easter chocolate eggs at Harald's in Cromer which he has had now closed because of coronavirus. Pic: Archant

A man affectionately know as ‘Mr Chocolate’ has said he will have to give away stock as coronavirus threatens to “cancel Easter”.

Norfolk's 'Mr Chocolate' Digby Eddison, pictured when he ran the chocolate shop in Norwich's Royal Arcade. Pic: ArchantNorfolk's 'Mr Chocolate' Digby Eddison, pictured when he ran the chocolate shop in Norwich's Royal Arcade. Pic: Archant

Retailer Digby Eddison, renowned for his Digby’s Fine Chocolates shop formerly in Norwich’s Royal Arcade and now running Harald’s in Cromer, has closed his stores because of coronavirus.

Like other retailers Mr Eddison, who purchased Easter chocolate stock early this year, now cannot sell it because he has a limited online business.

He said wholesalers will not be out of pocket because they sold chocolate eggs before coronavirus struck – but supermarkets are going to be left with a lot unsold.

Harald's in Cromer. Pic: ArchantHarald's in Cromer. Pic: Archant

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However, because of the problems with delivery and shortage of staff working in online distribution centres, the opposite problem is true for some chocolate retailers which have closed their shops but sell online.

Booja-Booja, a chocolate firm based in Brooke, south Norfolk, has sold out of many of its Easter eggs available online from stockists such as Roys of Wroxham, Holland and Barrett, Amazon and even London’s Harvey Nichols.

And well-known national brands are struggling to deliver in time for Easter. Hotel Chocolat’s first available delivery, for an extra £3.95, is only for April 16 or after.

Montezuma’s. which just opened a shop in Norwich, now closed because of coronavirus, has completely sold out of all its online selection of Easter eggs.

Thorntons was still able to deliver nationwide in time for Easter, for an extra charge of £6.95 but with a limited product range.

Mr Eddison, who has worked as a chocolate retailer for 30 years, said: “It’s going to be a disaster for many people selling Easter eggs.

“Supermarkets will have ordered their Easter eggs before Christmas, and will have bought them in January/February, so they’re going to be sitting on an awful lot of chocolate.

“People haven’t got a lot of time in supermarkets right now to buy them.

“You can melt down chocolate and repurpose it but it really doesn’t taste as good, we will have to give it away we have so much stock. For me, Easter is effectively cancelled but we will get through this, we will open up again.”

Mr Eddison opened his well known chocolate shop in the Royal Arcade in 1993 but now runs a shop by the seaside.

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