POSH chocolate-maker Amelia Rope used to deny herself sweet pleasures.

She was overweight and would obsess over nutrition and avoiding “bad” foods.

But then she found a passion for chocolate-making and says her drive for creating decadent sweet treats has made her happier, healthier and more fulfilled than ever.

Amelia, who grew up in Layer Marney, eats chocolate all day, every day. The self-confessed addict even has chocolate for breakfast.

Amelia says: “I used to be overweight and back then I would deny myself any sweets things. I was obsessed with nutrition and finding out why I couldn’t lose weight.

“I was a size 14 to 16, and now I am a size eight. I have found that denying myself is not the answer. I eat what I like and just want enough to satisfy my taste buds. And that just happens to be chocolate.”

Amelia’s daily diet is a chocoholic’s idea of heaven.

She says: “I tend to eat a disgusting amount of chocolate during the day, because I always have some at my desk. I do everything on the hoof and so I don’t really think about when or where I am going to be eating that day.

“I have a bit of chocolate for breakfast and work through it throughout the day. It peps me up. I can overdo the sugar, so in the evening I steer clear of anything sweet and have something simple, like a big bowl of steaming veg with oil and lemon juice poured over. I am vegetarian, so apart from the chocolate I eat very cleanly.”

Amelia is not the only one who cannot resist her brand of luxury chocolate. It flies off the shelves at Selfridges, Liberty and Fortnum and Mason.

Her training as an aromatherapist has seen Amelia expertly infuse the chocolate with flavours such as rose, lemon and sea-salt, mandarin and a gorgeous, crackly coffee-bean dark chocolate. Her artisan product, which sells for more than £6 a bar, is one of the most fashionable brands in Britain right now.

She brings out “collections” of chocolate like a fashion brand and currently has the dark, pale, white and cube ranges.

Amelia, who went to St Mary’s School, in Lexden, Colchester, says: “I always wanted to be a fashion designer as a child and so this is how I approach it. I don’t do novelty Christmas combinations – I go with what I think works and ideas come to me all the time.”

Amelia has made some big sacrifices for the business which she started in 2007.

She has fended off bailiffs, sold her flat, slept on friends’ floors for more than a year, lived with her brother for two and a half years and scraped together cash from friends to fill orders when the banks wouldn’t give her a loan.

When did her love of chocolate start?

She says: “I remember being eight and tasting the amazing truffles my father bought for my grandmother. They were from Presdat, the chocolatier with a royal warrant from the Queen for more than 35 years.

“As a teen, I ate a lot of cheap chocolate and I liked it all. Later, when I gained weight, I stopped eating chocolate altogether.”

Amelia’s journey started in 2006 when she went on Masterchef. She didn’t win, but after encouragement from John Torode, she went back on in 2007.

She was given the boost to start her own chocolate-making brand when Pat Reeves, founder of sofa.com, commissioned her first collection.

She says: “He believed in what I was doing. He kept saying I should create a chocolate collection and he would commission the first one, but I kept saying no. Before that, I was making crystallised flora and bespoke truffles on commission, but Pat knew that I had a good idea with the chocolate.

“Eventually I decided to take up his offer and I needed £7,000 to start it, but the bank wouldn’t lend. I campaigned to my MP and raised the money myself.”

Amelia left her steady job as a PA in a doctor’s surgery and decided to go part-time, get some spare cash from the sale of her flat and go on as many courses as possible.

Her gamble paid off and she now has a team of six people helping her and a turnover of £450,000.

She says: “If I died now, I would be so proud of what I have achieved. I never thought even five years ago it would be at this point.”

She is happy that she broke away from the traditional life.

She says: “I am a rebel – always have been. At school they hated me, because I never did what I was told.

“I didn’t go to uni and did marry in my twenties, like what was expected, and I left my job as a secretary.

“However, now my family are so proud of what I have achieved.

“My brother Simon supported me so much. He let me sleep on his sofa for two and a half years and he is now a shareholder. I want the business to be good, so I can give him something back.”

Although in her own words Amelia “has no official training in anything” she does, she does have heaps of enthusiasm.

Her tenacity and belief in her business has also made her stubborn about how things should be done.

She says: “I won’t compromise on anything. With my cube collection, I had a lot of people ask me to change the shape, because they are hand-wrapped and so it is hard to wrap each one.

“But it is how I wanted it and had to be that way. I never accept no as an answer.”

The job is full on and takes up a lot of Amelia’s time. She says: “I didn’t have children and so business is my baby. It is also like a marriage which has been through divorce and got back on track as well!”

Amelia comes up with new recipes all of the time.

She says: “Recipes come to me from anywhere. I can be walking down the street and I will come up with a flavour combination.

“I am very stubborn. I don’t have any tasters. I know myself what I like and I don’t want to compromise. I am also not very good at listening to criticism. That said, I am my own harshest critic anyway and I am tough on myself.”

Her latest collections come from a variety of places.

She says: “I came up with the idea of the white collection when I was in bed with sinusitis and a chest infection. I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything for four days and when I came around from it, I was feeling so weak.

“All I craved was white chocolate. I went out and bought a load of Milky Bars. I melted them in a bain-marie over hot water with some base white chocolate I had and mixed in some Maldon sea salt and ate the lot.

“I was scraping out the bowl, it was so delicious. I didn’t bother to temper it and make it shiny and smooth, because I didn’t have the energy.

“After that, I brought out the white collection which I said I would never do before.”