Scunthorpe shop loses £1k of chocolate after heatwave causes it to melt

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Image caption,
Claire York launched an online appeal to help replace her parents' melted chocolate

A community has come together to help the owners of a corner shop whose entire stock of chocolate melted.

Ellis Stores in Scunthorpe lost about £1,000 worth of goods after its air conditioning failed to cope during the recent heatwave.

An online appeal by Claire York, the daughter of the shop's owners Stephen and Linda Ellis, has raised more than £450 to replace the lost sweets.

Ms York said her parents were "so, so grateful" for the donations.

"My mum has just cried," she said.

"For the whole week she just cried every time anybody's given any money, anybody's done anything."

Image caption,
The shop lost about £1,000 worth of chocolate during the heatwave

The couple have run the independent shop on Cottage Beck Road for more than 24 years.

Ms York said that due to excesses and the rise in insurance premiums it was not worth making a claim.

"My mum was literally ready to pack in, shut the door and just leave it all, bless her," she said.

"They've had a really tough couple of years with price rises and everything else, so this was like the tip of the iceberg really."

One regular customer said the couple "do a great job with the community and the shop".

"Everybody knows them," he said.

"I think it's great that they've put some money forward to help them when they lost the chocolate."

The science behind melting chocolate

Image source, FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/Getty Images

Chocolate expert Jenny Culver, course manager at Bettys cookery school in Harrogate, said: "Chocolate is very sensitive to temperature variations.

"From a scientific point of view, the crystals which make it perform as it does get confused about what state they are in and it becomes unstable."

Ms Culver said premium chocolate was more stable than our supermarket favourites due to its higher cocoa butter content.

However, she said all chocolate needed to be stored at room temperature, away from direct heat sources and sunlight.

Not doing so risked reducing its shelf life, she added.

So, can you reset or freeze a melted chocolate bar?

"It just wouldn't be the same", Ms Culver said.

"Much of the aroma and taste would be lost. In a really bad state it can be crumbly," she added.

What can you do with your chocolate in an emergency situation?

"Sit in the corner and suck it out of the packet, or if it happens in the hot weather, add cream to make a lovely chocolate sauce to go over ice cream, or a thicker version to dunk biscuits in," Ms Culver said.

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