Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Goodbye Darrell Lea?

I've just returned from spending four days in the Australian countryside where my dad tought me how to use a chainsaw, how to net your fruit trees, how to properly split wood, and how to talk to wallabies so that they don't get scared. I read a lot and I made cannelloni with my mum, and my brother showed me a little of how to ride his manual motorbike. I have a lot to write about in regard to this time, but on the drive home this evening, listening to Radio National, I heard some entirely shocking news that deserves a swift response. Darrell Lea is closing down.

First Rave, and now this? Why is everything good around me coming to an end!?!???!?


I consume so much Darrell Lea chocolate that it's not really alright. I'm a fiendish sweet-tooth, and my favourite sweet of all sweets, the king of sugary treats, is Darrell Lea's coconut rough. It only comes out in the colder winter months, and my personal record was 15 packets in just one season. I count down the days and I'm first in store for the special stock arriving, and as the days slowly grow warmer I begin the hoarder's delight of stockpiling packets in my secret top-shelf space. The way the coconut is toasted and the creaminess of the chocolate combine to make the most satisfying yet moorish coconut rough I have ever tasted in my life. I'm serious. I'm really keen on anything coconut and also anything chocolate, and no other brand (either independent or supermarket available) has ever been able to compete with Darrell Lea's secret recipe. 

The facts of the current situation are as follows: that the company has been running for 85 years, it's still 100% owned by the Lea family, and that the jobs of more than 700 people are at risk if no big players step up to buy them out. The administrators have reported some offers already though, so at least we have reason to be hopeful. The company started out as one of those nan-and-pop outfits, where every inch of the layout was oldschool, and they garnered respect and loyalty from their employees - it's one of those places where some of them have been working in the same chocolate factory for decades. Apparently it went through some tough family feud stuff through the years, but nothing like that could possibly tarnish Australia's love for the brand. Even Julia Gillard had something to say about their rocky road. (They mastered the pun of calling it RockLea Road. Go nan and pop.) 

I myself am going into the city tomorrow and, if there's any left, I intend on spending a LOT of money on coconut rough. Until further notice, let's keep Darrell Lea in our hearts and prayers and treat cupboards. 

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