The job every chocoholic dreams of...
FROM selling handmade chocolates at local markets, to owning one of the hottest chocolate retailers in Brisbane, Chris Thomson and Amy Sargeantson are living the life every chocoholic dreams of.
After an idea came to them while working in a bakery, the pair started making their own chocolate and soon opened Noosa Chocolate Factory.
"Every Saturday morning we would load the boot of our beaten-up car and start our 3am journey from Noosa to the Jan Powers Farmers Markets in Brisbane to sell what we could," Chris said.
But their plan came to a halt in summer when they realised they couldn't keep their chocolate cool enough to last the long journey.
So, Chris and Amy decided to open a chocolate store in Brisbane.
"It wasn't a hard decision to make - we met so many friendly people and made local connections that were willing to support us once we moved to Brisbane," Chris said.
That was seven years ago.
Since then Noosa Chocolate Factory has opened six stores in the Brisbane CBD.
Although growing rapidly, the owners are adamant it won't become a wholesaler to larger companies - making it truly unique to its brand.
"By not wholesaling, it allows us to have 100% control of what we produce and how we present it, and this means everything will always be fresh," Chris said.
"For example, nuts should be sold within three weeks; our choc peanuts travel straight from our Noosa factory to our CBD stores and are sold within two weeks.
"Fresh and simple is what our brand is about. The real detail is seen in our quality products and the customer service we provide.
Experience has taught Chris and Amy that word of mouth will always be their best marketing tool.
"Brisbane is a close-knit community and we all support one another," Chris said.
They are currently building a bigger factory in Noosa that will allow for more chocolate production and a larger tourist attraction for visitors to experience.
"Not too far away you may even see us in the Los Angeles arts district, but Queensland will always be Noosa Chocolate Factory's home," Chris said.