We're creating an open, working chocolate factory where anyone can work with cocoa and become a chocolate maker and we'd love you to join us!
York was once known as the Chocolate City with companies like Terry’s, Rowntree, Cravens and Lazenby creating chocolates that became British iconic household names. With trading from Amsterdam readily accessible across the North Sea and up the Humber spices, seeds, sugar and cocoa arrived in abundance into the city, allowing the industry established in 1646 to grow and flourish. The York companies have now been taken over by global organisations, while we still have the world famous Kit Kat still manufactured in the city where it was created much of our production has now left the York. However the city still smells of chocolate on good days and we want to bring that chocolate making tradition back with a celebration of the industry that we love.
This Spring we'll be opening York Cocoa Works in the heart of the city, just yards from where Tuke's, one of the first chocolate manufactory's in the UK started in 1785, it would eventually be the shop where Henry Isaac Rowntree undertook his apprenticeship to buy the business in 1862. We're really proud of the history that is everywhere around us in the city, it's that history and the industry that we've learned from to craft our chocolate and to share these stories with visitors from around the world.
York Cocoa Works will be a celebration of the chocolate industryof the city that was once renowned across the world, creating quality, affordable chocolates while being a centre of teaching and driving social reform. We'll be following in the footsteps of the city's chocolate makers, but looking to the future to see how we can share what we have all learned, continuing to discuss challenging topics for the industry and drive social change of our supply chain by creating new ideas around ownership and opportunity.
York Cocoa Works will be an open and accessible chocolate production centre that will be accompanied by the York Cocoa Academy - a space where chocolate lovers of all ages can learn and share the journey of the cocoa we work with.
We'd love to share more about our vision for chocolate making and how we think we can create a collaborative framework to support, learn and grow the love and appreciation for fine cocoa.
The fabulous Adil has allowed us to borrow his beautiful chocolate boutique Chocolatl in the heart of Amsterdam at 6.30pm on Thursday 22nd February during the Chocoa Festival. I'd be delighted if you could join me and my team of chocolate makers, as well as our farmers, cocoa suppliers and chocolate experts who have been helping us on our journey so far for an evening of sharing, please feel free to bring chocolate, cocoa, ideas and friends.