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Paul A Young Shop Opens

Catherine May catches up with Paul A. Young to discuss the launch of his new Wardour Street shop

Published on June 23rd 2011.

Paul A Young Shop Opens

“FABULOUS”. That’s the word Paul A Young uses to describe how the first day of business at his new eponymous flagship Wardour Street shop went.

The Yorkshire born owner has had praise heaped upon him since his first opening in Islington. In fact, it’s hard to believe he’s only been selling his chocolates for five years given his reputation as one of the biggest names in the industry.

With two highly acclaimed shops in Camden Passage and the Royal Exchange, this latest opening certainly has a lot to live up to.

Having initially trained in hotel catering and management, Young went on to work for Marco Pierre White at The Criterion Brasserie before gaining the position of Head Pastry chef at Quo Vadis. Now back in the Soho neighbourhood, Young is jubilant about the colourful crowd who’ve already graced his shop.

Soho ShopSoho Shop

“We were busy from the second we opened to the second we closed”, he says. With prime location on the corner of Wardour Street and Broadwick Street, the shop’s renowned purple exterior can be admired by tourists and city workers alike.

“I wanted to open a shop that was edgy and creative and there’s been a food renaissance in this area recently, so it seemed ideal”. He’s right too. A short walk along Wardour Street sees you pass cupcake favourite, Hummingbird Bakery, and Italian wood fired bread specialist, Princi. But the street was missing a chocolatier, and Young seems thrilled to be filling that hole nicely.

The Yorkshire-born owner has had praise heaped upon him since his first opening in Islington. In fact, it’s hard to believe he’s only been selling his chocolates for five years given his reputation as one of the biggest names in the industry.


Just how does he cope with the high praise and attention? Modestly, it seems.

“I find it quite hard to accept what people say about me”. He continues, “I’m just a Northern guy who works hard and wanted to bring something new to the food scene.”

To others it is easy to see why he has gained so much success. Along with his business partner James Cronin, he worked seven days a week for three years. By 2006, he’d been made an honorary member of the Academy of Chocolate, and his lengthy list of awards speaks for itself. His salted caramel may well be the chocolate that garnered the attention of the masses and still remains a best seller, but Young stays humble and is ever thankful to his loyal customers.

He’s involved with every step of the business, from the creative process to the final sale. He was even the interior designer for all of his shops – choosing a handmade chandelier for the Soho shop to match its reused and up-cycled furniture.

With his name on all the branding, Young knows everything falls down to him. He has a great kitchen team on all of his premises, but he likes to spend as much time in the kitchen as possible. “It’s what I love”, he says as he talks about promising his loyal followers that his chocolate will always remain of the same high quality.

What flavours should we be watching out for this summer? Tomato, Basil and Olive Oil, apparently. That along with the Kernel Brewery Stout and Muscavado Sugar truffles proved the most popular on opening day.

“It’s about finding familiar flavours and combining them with the chocolate” Young explains. “We don’t want to intimidate customers with unheard of exotic flavours, but we like offering something new”.

So with the new shop to manage and a series of upcoming food festival appearances on the cards, it seems Paul A Young is in for a busy summer.

Then again, he doesn’t seem to have stopped in the past five years.


More Information

Paul A Young
143 Wardour Street
London, W1F 8WA

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