Canberra’s chocolate queen hangs up her apron


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Forget about looking for a golden ticket in a chocolate bar – the chance of owning one of Canberra’s best chocolate companies is yours.

Nestled in Murrumbateman just 30 minutes from Canberra, Robyn Rowe Chocolates is one of Canberra’s most popular dining destinations.

Providing visitors with the ultimate chocolate experience, from hand dipped truffles and couverture chocolate to decadent hot chocolates, its location alongside Murrumbateman’s rich array of cellar doors and gourmet offerings makes it the ultimate step for gourmets.

Owned by the eponymous Robyn Rowe, who has dedicated 17 years to the art of chocolate, the picturesque storefront is located on Robyn’s family property of Boolarong, with a breathtaking view of the countryside.

Today, after more than nine wonderful years, Robyn hangs up her apron and sells Robyn Rowe Chocolates, along with all of Boolarong’s property.

But that doesn’t mean the decision came easily.

“At the end of 2020, I found the long days very tiring,” says Robyn. “I started to think about my next birthday and how old I would be and that’s when I decided it was time for a change.”

“I’m a bit of an all-or-nothing type when I make up my mind to do things and there’s no way I could have stopped before that… even now it will be difficult.”

Robyn will be celebrating her 80th birthday in November, which she says is “a fair enough round”, although it will be difficult to say goodbye to Boolarong.

“Being a country boy at heart, owning a small piece of land near a big city was a wonderful place. My husband Denis was also born in a country, so we both wanted to create something out of nothing and make it our own.

Having started with a “blank canvas” of land, Robyn and Denis named the property Boolarong, a First Nations word meaning “place of abundance”.

“We started with the beautiful view to the north, the creek that ran along the base of the hill, the pretty wooded hills beyond the creek with their gums and scribbled Argyle apples and the many logs to sit on to enjoy the calm, ”explains Robyne.

“The region is full of natural beauty. A great place of contemplation in the dappled shade, where one feels millions of kilometers from anywhere.

Located at 1153 Nanima Road with 9.6 hectares in total, Boolarong has a spring-fed dam and phalaris pastures next to a country-style three-bedroom, two-bath house with a large veranda and fire pit. firewood.

This is in addition to the storefront and commercial kitchen of Robyn Rowe Chocolates, which are located in a separate building with ample outdoor spaces to accommodate its many customers.

Robyn says her favorite part of owning her eponymous business has been the opportunity for creativity, coming from a creative family in her hometown of Cowra.

“I like to do delicate things… the attention to detail and the drawing and doing and doing things by hand,” she says. “It was chocolate that showed me the way to create something big and creative. Watching him grow up was exciting and empowering.

“Some of the highlights were seeing the store go from a small chocolate factory to a tourist destination. See the first international flights arrive in Canberra… Growing from 13 varieties of chocolates to over 30 varieties now [and] knowing that I gave a job to 31 people.

For Robyn, it has been a privilege to serve the community of Canberra.

“My company has given many groups the chance to have fun here for an outing, whether it is a group of disabled people or a retirement home, we have brought a little happiness to some less fortunate than us” , she says.

With the auction set for Sunday, May 16, Robyn says she hopes to pass the business on to someone who is willing to expand it even further.

“In an ideal world, it would be great to have someone much younger in my place and take this place to the next level,” she says. “A couple involved in the chocolate or baking industry would be great, but there are plenty of possibilities too. “

As for what the Chocolate Queen of Canberra will do next, Robyn says she’s in no rush to decide.

She plans to find a new home in Canberra, and with four children spread across the country, she is excited to visit Brisbane, Sydney and Tumut and care for her grandchildren “to start the new journey”.

“I would love to be near the art galleries and the ANU School of Art,” she says. “I would love to volunteer for a charity that I have tried to support as much as I could during my working years and would love to travel abroad, when we can again. Also, catch up with old friends that I neglected because of business.

Learn more about the sale at

Photograph courtesy of Ray White

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