HARRODS, the famous London store, has chosen a Reading company to supply it with a new brand of hot chocolate.

Delighted with his first two-tonne order is Adrian Smith, managing director of the Mortimer Chocolate Company Ltd, of Windmill Road, Mortimer Common.

Mr Smith, 53, a master chocolatier, founded the company in 2006 after a career at Mars, where he was a chocolate and cocoa taster.

Mr Smith, married to Felicity, is a father of three daughters.

He is from Halifax, Yorks, and gained a degree in botany at Reading University.

Representatives of a Derbyshire tea company recommended his products to Harrods, who enjoyed samples of Mr Smith’s unique product.

He said: “You don’t have to go to Belgium to enjoy good chocolate. We are delighted that such a famous, internationally renowned store has chosen a small, family-run British firm for their hot chocolate, which becomes part of their new Christmas range.”

He added: “We were able to make them a luxurious, smooth, hot drink that they loved, and we hope to supply Harrods for many years.”

The tins of chocolate powder have been packed by another British firm, Northern Tea Merchants, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

Harrods will launch the hot chocolate next month.

Mr Smith, who has won awards of innovation, has been in the business for at least a quarter of a century, and has visited West Africa and South America selecting the best cocoa beans.