HE’S used to rubbing shoulders with the best in the culinary business and is head chef at one of Scotland’s most well-known restaurants. Now, an Airdrie man has told of his joy after tasting sweet success with a hobby during lockdown. 

Barry Gamble, who runs the kitchen in Edinburgh’s Le Monde on George Street, started up artisan chocolate firm Bonbox to “keep himself busy” and just ten months on he’s continuing to bring all the right ingredients together. 

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“When lockdown hit, I decided to do something to keep me busy,” the 37-year-old said.

“I just bought some chocolate rolls and decided I would make some chocolate. I thought if I launched the brand and made all the mistakes, learn all the things, and then dispose of this and create a new brand.

“Within about three or four days, I’d been contacted by Eden Mill and it just snowballed from there.

“It’s been unbelievable.” 

Not only has Bonbox signed deals to provide sweet treats to local firms in North Lanarkshire, but it has been “inundated” with orders and was even named by a national newspaper as one of the 11 best chocolate box providers in the UK.

“It’s such an art form,” the former Glasgow College of Food Technology student said.

“The designs we can put into it and the flavour profiles we put in them. 

“The stuff we do is so different to most of the stuff people see. 

“I saw a gap and just thought if we could smash it with our social media presence then the products would speak for themselves.

“We couldn’t anticipate it to take off the way it has taken off. It was just something to keep me busy but the fact that we formed the company in September and now we have a unit is something I didn’t see happening. 

“We were featured in an Independent article just before Christmas. That had a massive influx in business for us. 

“It was a shock. Our orders spiked massively and the people who bought at Christmas came back at Valentine’s and will come back again. It’s great we have these customers who come back and have no affiliation with me. 

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“I’m mega pleased with how it’s grown over such a short period of time.” 

For Barry, who has also worked in Manchester and Newhouse’s Dakota restaurant, the success has been down to his attention to detail. 

“Working in these types of places and doing openings, it takes you away from thinking about it only as a chef but also thinking about the logistics of things,” he said. “This has all paved the way for this. I’ve always tried to push myself.” 

To find out more about Bonbox, visit the website