Chocolate Bar owners on move

The Chocolate Bar owners Laura and Simon Merritt are moving to the Borders.
The Chocolate Bar owners Laura and Simon Merritt are moving to the Borders.

A popular town centre business in Ellon is changing hands.

The Chocolate Bar and coffee shop in Market Street will have a new owner later this month.

Laura and Simon Merritt, who have run the business for the last four-and-a-half-years, are moving to Peebles.

It will be taken over by Kira Pirie, who is no stranger to the Chocolate Bar, having worked there for about 18 months when it opened, making chocolates and hosting workshops.

Laura and Simon, who is a Loganair pilot, will miss the close friendships they have made through the business but are looking forward to a new life in the Borders with their two young daughters.

The couple have run the shop as a partnership, although Laura is the face most people will see behind the counter.

She told the Times: “We have made such a lot of friends here but what’s been really nice to see is it’s the sort of place you can come on your own and keep to yourself, or chat.

“We have had a lot of customers who have become friends, really good friends, with other customers. That’s what been nice for me - it’s as if we have made our mark.”

Simon, who is transferring to Loganair’s Edinburgh base, added: “The reaction of local people since they knew we were leaving has been really touching. We will really miss Ellon.”

The couple’s last day on Saturday, February 14, is certain to be an emotional one. In the run-up, they will be selling off stock and having competitions and give-aways as a thank you to customers.

Kira, a chocolatier, is delighted to be taking over and knows many of the customers.

She said: “It’s exciting. I will be bringing in new products, but still retaining some of the others. I’m really looking forward to it.”