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Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Friday, 12 March 2010
Adrian goes from Mars to Mortimer
By Amanda Dellor
BBC Berkshire Reporter

Adrian Smith set up his own chocolate company

Adrian Smith is a man who knows a thing or two about chocolate.

He worked for Slough-based Mars Confectionary as a cocoa taster for 18 years, even travelling to Africa and America to source the best product.

After working for the confectionary giant for most of his professional life, Adrian decided to go it alone.

"There was a gap in the market for a pure chocolate drink so I thought I'd put my money where my mouth is," he says.

Adrian created The Mortimer Chocolate Company and went about developing his products. This took ninth months and Adrian travelled extensively to source the finest cocoa beans.

He settled on West Africa, Ecuador, Ghana and Venezuela. All the beans create quite different tastes.

"Describing cocoa to me is like a wine buff describing wine," says Adrian.

"When we're tasting as a team we develop a language that we understand, so there are some terms that would sound horrible.

"Like some cocoa powder can taste like wet dog - it just describes the certain characteristics of a particular cocoa powder.

"When it's said, the whole team knows what we mean."

Adrian has created a range of chocolate powders that can be used for cooking and drinking and launched them at Henley Farmer's Market.

They're produced in a factory the company uses on a part-time basis and were initially packed up and sent out from the kitchen of the family home in Mortimer. The size of the operation today means this is no longer feasible.

The chocolate powder is now stocked in Waitrose supermarkets throughout the country as well as by the National Trust.

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05 May 10 |  TV & Radio
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