CHOCOLATE makers in Largs delivered a sweet surprise to key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Richard and Gloria Craigmile were faced with losing a four-figure sum of stock after having to cease operations at The Candy Box and Continental because of lockdown restrictions.

But rather than see the treats go to waste, the husband and wife team decided to gift it to people in the community who have been working on the frontline fighting the virus and keeping Largs moving.

Richard said: "We gave away a lot of our stock, everything from tablet to macaroon, to key workers, people in local shops such as post office and the chemist.

"They have done tremendous work keeping people served during all of this and it was nice that the goods, which were all still fresh, could be put to good use.

"It was a lot of stock lost, but it was lovely to see how grateful people were."

Gloria and Richard have been running both shops in Tron Place for over 25 years. They regularly work seven days and reckon that they have had just three months of holidays since they started out back in 1995. The couple admit that the Covid-19 situation was difficult as it forced the shutdown of its sweetie making operation.

Richard said: "It is good to be back open. It has taken quite a while to get everything made as the delivery of certain products has been affected.

"It is fine if you are just buying and selling, but it is when you making things from scratch, that is a little trickier.

"I have a couple of young staff who are grateful to be working again. It has been busy enough although I have some concern for the winter. I think it is good that we are at least getting some summer trade."

Richard, 63, also thinks it is an opportunity for local shops as less people may be inclined to travel.

He said: "Hopefully that will help."

Gloria, who turns 66 this week, said: "It is a new normal now and thankfully people have been desperate to get their chocolate fix. With a lot of effort we have found a way to re-open."

Richard added: "People are grateful that we are back open. I think people will appreciate shopping local a little more now."