Chocolate lovers were devastated when it was announced that the iconic business Darrell Lea had gone into voluntary administration in 2012. The family-owned brand had, since 1927, offered the very finest sweet treats to generations of Australians. Few of Darrell Lea's products were more well-loved than the always amazing Rocklea Road.
When the brand was rescued in late 2012 by the Quinn family of Queensland, whose business interests include V.I.P. Petfoods, the company's new management decided to make a statement on Australia Day 2013 in order to thank supporters and to inform the public that Darrell Lea is well and truly back. No statement is more powerful than a world record, so in the very early hours of Friday, January 25 - the day before Australia Day - 15 chocolatiers came together to make the world's biggest rocky road.
Their plans were almost scuppered when one of the chocolate mixing machines refused to start, but it was soon humming along with the rest of the equipment in the sweet-smelling chocolate factory. By 6.30am the mix of marshmallows, nuts, butter, biscuits, golden syrup, milk chocolate and cranberries was being deliciously poured, bucketful by bucketful, into a pre-made frame that was 205cm wide, 560cm long and 45mm high.
By 8am the finished product, assisted in cooling and solidifying by several fans and industrial air-conditioning units, was ready to be weighed and, more importantly, was finally edible. The monstrous chocolate creation, now the world's biggest rocky road, weighed in at 261.2kg and tasted delightful.
Several radio stations, newspapers and websites celebrated the new record with interviews and stories, and one major breakfast TV program broadcast its weather segments all morning from the chocolate factory. The message was loud and clear - Darrell Lea is not just back on its feet, it is fighting fit!