Do you love fine, luxury chocolates that seem to melt in your mouth? It used to be that such delicacies were only available in the UK from specialty manufacturers like Lindt or Suchard or possibly Laura Secord of Canada.

Those who truly love high-end chocolate used to have to search out their beloved candies at area delicatessens or travel to such place as Selfridges or Harrods in London.

Things changed in the late 1970s when vacationers returned to the US and described some of the delicious truffles and delightful pralines they had in Europe. It made those back home long for the specialty confections.

It was then that multiple small Belgian chocolate shops began to spring up throughout the UK. The store were usually not very big — probably just large enough to hold a few cases to house their delicious chocolates and some shelves for boxes, plus a few customers.

These stores offered their wonderful treats in tiny “ballotins,â€Â which they wrapped up in lovely wrappings and bows. Sometimes they even added silk flowers to adorn the containers. Unfortunately, many of these shops failed because of their high prices and poor choice in locations.

The demand for specialty chocolates caused many French and Belgian chocolate manufacturers to open stores all over the UK. The chocolatier Jeff de Brugges, had many successful stores in France but failed to succeed with stores in the UK.

Chocolate sales have also been tough for established names like Godiva and Leonardis. Both companies did well in large department stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester but failed to succeed in small kiosks as they had in Belgium.

The kiosks did manage to do one positive thing for the chocolate manufacturers, they increased the demand for high quality confections. The demand for Belgian chocolate is so high that it now can be found in supermarkets.