A CHOCOLATE shop is celebrating sweet success after scooping a top food accolade.

Maldon Chocolates, in Wenlock Way, has been recognised by the Great Taste awards.

The firm, set up by Mike Simons, was handed a gold star after wowing judges with its clotted cream fudge.

In total, a record breaking 12,634 products were entered in the 2018 contest, with just 4,653 of those winning gongs.

Mr Simons said: “It means out fudge is one of the best in the country.

“We make clotted cream fudge and have not additives in our products. We use Devon cream, Jersey milk and Madagascan vanilla.

“At the moment we can only make one kilo or two kilos about once or twice a week.”

And Mr Simons said the shop is unable to keep up with the demand, with the fudge regularly selling out.

He believes the judges, which included MasterChef champion Kenny Tutt and eco chef Tom Hunt, were impressed by their traditional methods.

He said: “We don’t use condensed milk in our fudge – we feel it is the cheats’ way to make it.

“A lot of people use it to make their products but we don’t.”

All the winners will now go through to a national final ceremony in London on Sunday, September 2, where a Great Taste 2018 Supreme Champion will be announced.

Mr Simons, whose products are now sold in Tiptree tearooms and Hyde Hall in Chelmsford, said: “We only started two and a half years ago – it has gone really quick.

“I started off as a bookie and I have learned so much and developed the brand.

“It is really quite incredible to get a Great Taste award two years after we started the shop.”