Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Paul a. Young

Paul a. Young is a groundbreaking and inspirational chocolatier who opened up his first shop in Camden Passage in 2006, with business partner James Cronin. They’ve now grown into a thirty-plus strong company.

ChrisBrockPhotography-1171

Paul a. Young is a groundbreaking and inspirational chocolatier who opened up his first shop in Camden Passage in 2006, with business partner James Cronin. They’ve now grown into a thirty-plus strong company.

Before becoming a chocolatier, Paul originally trained as a chef before joining Marco Pierre White. It wasn’t until he was promoted to Head Pastry Chef at Quo Vadis that his imagination was captured by chocolate. ‘It is such a versatile ingredient and I enjoyed creating different combinations’, he explains. He was then drawn out of the restaurant business by various well-known brands to become a product developer. Through this, he met Chantal Coady, founder of Rococo Chocolates, who asked him to design a chocolate for the first Chocolate Week. This was a transformational part of his life, and he started to create more and more designs until he took the leap of opening his own chocolate shop. He hasn’t looked back since!

Paul likes to focus on pairing chocolate with unusual ingredients. He delights in sourcing inspiring ingredients, or creating unusual combinations. Living in the vibrant metropolis that is London makes it easy for him to find inspiration. Paul a. Young carries an extensive range of products, and is always developing new ganaches, truffles or liqueur chocolates.

Basil and lemon ganache

Paul’s latest bestseller is the Sea-Salted Caramel, which won best sea-salted caramel in the world at the International Chocolate Awards for two years running. It’s the combination of sea-salt and sugar that people really love. Their marmite chocolate is also consistently in the top 3.

All Paul a. Young’s trademark purple shops are designed by Paul himself, from sourcing the furniture to choosing the décor and colours. He loves having a vision in mind then making it possible. His shops are all very welcoming, their interiors creating a relaxed vibe with lots of natural materials, such as wood and glass. He also works at being as sustainable as possible with lots of reclaimed and upcycled furniture.
Paul likes to work closely with local shops to support British designers and manufacturers. It took him a few years to find the right location of his shop in Camden Passage, as he already had a very particular image of what he wanted in his mind. His shops are all about showcasing the chocolates, so he chooses designs and colours that highlight his products, as soon as you walk in the door.

Goldbar_01

Much like his chocolates, Paul a. Young prefers designs that are timeless, classic, but with a contemporary twist. His Royal Exchange shop is an old apothecary’s shop, with very high walls. He’s had to be creative with this unusual space, so he used beautiful, tall antique display cabinets. In contrast, he’s experimented a lot with the flagship Soho store, which has an altar as the tillpoint and an abstract light installation. Each store has really made him think about the design in a new way, which in turn, has encouraged him to be incredibly resourceful!

Paul’s just finished refurbishing his own house, with a special focus on a bespoke kitchen/eating area and he’s taken a lot of what he’s learnt through designing the shops into his own living space. He relishes change and the ability to move things around, so he’s made everything freestanding.

Paul’s a passionate hard worker, ranked amongst the world’s best chocolatiers, who has won many awards. He is a regular on UK television screens and has written a book. In 2014 he was named Outstanding British Chocolatier by the International Chocolate Awards.

Marmite ganache truffle

paul.a.young
London shops
Wardour Street, Soho
143 Wardour Street 
Soho
 London W1F 8WA

Camden Passage, Islington
33 Camden Passage, Islington 
London N1 8EA

The Royal Exchange, Bank
20 The Royal Exchange
 Threadneedle Street 
London EC3V 3LP

www.paulayoung.co.uk

Credits

  • Images from ‘Adventures with Chocolate' published by Kyle Books, photography by Anders Schonnemann.
  • The images of Paul are by Chris Brock.

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