We have a 50-year-old box of Queen Anne Chocolates – you must see it to believe it…
Is this the oldest ‘actual’ box of chocolates in New Zealand?
It's definitely a treasure – with quite a story behind it.
This story begins in the late 1990's when we first relaunched Queen Anne chocolates. I was delighted and surprised to get a phone call from a lady who said that she had an actual 3lb box of Queen Anne Chocolates from the 1970's – full of chocolates! As first I didn’t believe her….
This is her story – in the 1970’s she was given a box of “Queen Anne’s” but wanting to keep them for a special occasion she put them in her freezer. As she lived on an orchard property in Christchurch this was a freezer down the back in a shed. They disappeared to the bottom of that freezer for many years. Several times she found them but decided not to take the box of chocolates out. Before long, it was the family joke “Mum – have you still got Queen Anne in the freezer?” And there they stayed for 25 years!
I went to visit her and opened the box together. The box was in pristine condition and the chocolates inside still looked pretty good too - This is the photo which I took at the time.
The question was - what to do with this old box of chocolates now? I put them in my freezer. Every few years I would think about them again, but in the freezer they stayed. After the Christchurch earthquake I was too afraid to open the box in case I found a melted mess, as the power had been off for several days.
Fast forward 20 years and we are working on our Queen Anne 'Legacy Project' as we will be celebrating our 100th Anniversary (that’s another story) in 2025. It was time to take the 50-year-old box of chocolates out of my freezer….
I reached out to find someone to help and happily met Emily Fryer, a Christchurch based Conservator, with experience in preserving old food. Now our 3lb box of Queen Anne Chocolates is in her freezer, in preparation to ‘conserve’ it. We will keep you posted on the results.
We would love to track down our mystery lady who gave me this box of chocolates. She lived down Marshlands Road on an orchard property and contacted me in 1998. Does this story sound familiar to you?