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Chocolate business changes hands after 23 years

Flagstaff Team

Handing over… New Devonport Chocolates owners Kevin Angland and Sarah Gardner, with their daughter Sophia, and former owners Stephanie and Terry Everitt

Devonport Chocolates has been sold after 23 years under the ownership of Terry and Stephanie Everitt.

Terry (68) and Stephanie (71) said they will miss the business, but the time was right to retire.

Sales had returned to pre-Covid levels, and a further boost was on the horizon with the pending return of international tourists, and hotel customers returning to providing rooms after being used as MIQ facilities during the pandemic.

“It feels like a lot of buds are about to open,” Stephanie said.

“Online is going well, as is the Wynyard St shop… we’ve had great local support.”

New owners Kevin Angland and Sarah Gardner took over last week, but the Everitts will stay on for a six-week handover.

All 20 full- and part-time staff, including Stephanie and Terry’s daughter Caroline, have been retained.

Kevin has worked on technology in the financial services and energy utilities sectors, while Sarah has been a management consultant.

Both wanted a change and looked to buy a business.

Devonport Chocolates “ticked all the boxes” with an established brand, excellent products and processes and experienced staff, Kevin said. Sarah was also interested in the food sector.

The couple, from Ponsonby, were also Devonport Chocolates customers when it had a retail shop in that suburb, seven or eight years ago. The company still has a store in Queens Arcade in the Auckland CBD.

“We’re just going to settle in and keep doing what’s working well and then listen to our customers,” Kevin said.

The Everitts will continue living in Devonport. Stephanie is looking forward to “getting stuck into the garden without the time pressure (of a business)”.

Travel is also planned, including a trip to Milford Sound and then overseas, probably in 2023.

“I’ve never been to Cape Reinga so that is first on the list.”

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