For the love of chocolate

February 23, 2024 BY

Sweet: Indulge Fine Belgian Chocolates owner Hayley Tibbett is preparing to move on, but it's not the end of the business. Photo: PETER WEAVING

THE founder of a chocolaterie in the heart of Bendigo is busy preparing for her last Easter rush at the shop before moving on to new horizons.

Hayley Tibbett of Indulge Fine Belgian Chocolates wanted to clarify that she doesn’t intend on closing the business but hopes to find someone to take over the legacy.

“It’s me, not the shop,” she said. “I really want to find another person who also wants to have Indulge, I don’t want to leave another hole in the shops when it’s a good little business.”

Indulge was created 15 years ago and Ms Tibbett said she was humbled by the journey it took her on, including to her current position as a director on the board of Bendigo’s Chamber of Commerce, Be.Bendigo.

“Like a lot of people, I have a big passion for chocolate,” she said.

“My family’s always been in the food business. When I was younger, we actually had a friend of ours who had a chocolate shop and that sort of put me on the path of knowing about it.”

To learn how to make chocolate, Ms Tibbett said she attended classes by award-winning chocolatier and pastry chef, Kirsten Tibballs.

“There’s no apprenticeship or anything like that, it’s just having a willingness to learn,” she said. “I just went and did classes with Kirsten.”

For Easter, Ms Tibbett said the range includes a giant bunny, which she is asking the public to help name, and everything from small packs of chocolate freckles through to eggs, bunnies, smash eggs with lollies inside, and hampers.

She said most of the products are gluten-free, and there is a variety of dairy-free options too.

Ms Tibbett said she was grateful for the community’s support over the years.

“I just want to say thank you to everybody who’s supported us over the years, whether that be customers, suppliers, staff members,” she said.

“We’ve always dealt locally and worked with so many great people.”