The Chocci Cake Company has secured a £20,000 loan from Finance Wales to fund the opening of its first shop in Tredegar House, Newport.

Marilyn Anne Jones spent several years working as a 3D interior design artist in Portugal before returning to South Wales after the birth of her first granddaughter Avalyn in 2014.

She said: “I worked as a 3D artist in Portugal for years – mostly creating imagery for villas and building interiors.

"I came back to Wales to help look after my grandchild. I knew I needed to retrain in something so I researched trends where I could utilise my existing skills and kept coming back to chocolate,” said Marilyn.

“I then spent over a year of intense training to perfect my techniques in working with chocolate from start to finish.”

Since starting the company in July 2015 she has worked with a number of big-name clients, including GoCompare, as well as creating original and innovative chocolates for birthdays and weddings.

Finance Wales investment executive Alyson Macnamara said: “Marilyn is a talented chocolatier providing a great range of unique chocolate products in south Wales,” said . “We were happy to back her with a £20,000 loan to support the opening of the first Chocci Cake Company shop in the grounds of Tredegar House in Newport. The shop will complement her successful online business opening up new opportunities and markets to sell to. I worked closely with Marilyn to guide her through the process of borrowing for the first time. Being an experienced lender it is important that we make this as easy as possible by providing help and support.”

Marilyn said: “I met with Alyson who talked me through the micro loans scheme, what they could offer me, how they could help and what the costs were Alyson really helped and showed me what I could do and how I could push forward.”

Finance Wales can offer investments into Welsh businesses from £1,000 up to £3m, with micro loans available between £1,000 and £50,000. Companies and sole traders with more than two years of accounts applying for loans up to £5,000 can use a fast track application process where decisions on loans are made within two days.