A SWISS chocolatier has opened its very first store in Essex.

Lindt Chocolate is now operating from a new shop in Braintree Village.

The store had its grand opening last Friday and customers were seen queueing up outside before doors opened to the public for the first time.

Shoppers were able to make first use of a pick and mix area while the first 100 through the door were also handed complimentary boxes of truffles.

Braintree Village's centre manager Josef O'Sullivan believes the launch of Lindt's new shop shows the ongoing improvements being made to the shopping village are paying off.

He said: "The opening of Lindt is a key milestone in our development. The centre is evolving, and we are working hard to select brands we know our customers will love. We welcomed thousands of customers across the weekend, with many taking time to visit the store.

"In our 20th year, we are excited to see so many residents of Braintree joining us on our journey of transformation, welcoming new and exciting stores that reflect our ongoing evolution.

"We love to hear feedback from our customers and we know Lindt is a store everyone is delighted to welcome to the region.”