Crafting chocolate is a team effort, from the grower, the importer, the chocolate maker to the chocolatier and pastry chef, and of course our customers.
Since creating York Cocoa House the support and collaboration from across the York and chocolate loving community that we have received has been overwhelming. Every piece of advice, learning and feedback we have received has gone into crafting our vision for York Cocoa Works. We want to create a production and learning space where our industry and community can continue to share and learn from each other.
We've also been joined by some fabulous expertise, with Andrew Thwaite joining us as our Head Chocolatier, Mark Lister joining our Board of Directors and Tony Evans, customer, chocolate lover and industry expert joining us as our Chairman.
We also have some very special thanks for those who have supported and inspired the journey so far, they have invested their time and assistance to design and articulate our chocolate vision, and for that we are immeasurably grateful:
Industry professionals like Mike Grimes, Dr Stephen Beckett, Mark Fowler, David Brierly and the team at Casa Luker, Barry Johnson, Dom Ramsey, Ali Gower, Malcolm Avieson and Vantage House, Robin Smith and Sollich UK, Sabrina Jaramillo and Pro-Colombia, Twin Trading, Coconnect, Cacaotales, Uncommon Cacao, Daarnhauer, Martin Christy, Monica Meschini and Maricel Presilla, Martyn O'Dare, John Wherret and Brian at Harvest Moon, Linda Barrie and the team at ChocAffair and our partners Dr Jens Kristott, Miguel Rebelo and the team at Olam UK.
In supporting us developing our vision in York we are most appreciative for the support from businesses in the city who have helped us prepare John Dent and the team at LHL, Ben Ward, Hamer Boot and the team at Henry Boot, Colin Briggs at Bowman Reilly, Martin Avieson, Diana Naish, Di Burton, Helen Hoyle, Helen Roberts, Colin Glass and WGN, Phil Dwyer and Chris Holder at Brand X PR, Malcolm Stuart, Martin Frost at Lupton Fawcett and Emma Warner at Langleys
And finally our project team who have worked continually and diligently on the project for over the last year to design and create a city centre Cocoa Works from our imagination - Martin Dalley, Charlotte Harrison at Mass Architects, Martin Designs, Ann Gurnell & Nick Townend at the Ideas Group and Evora Construction, their professionalism and craftsmanship has been second to none.
Sophie Jewett - Founder and Managing Director
I started making chocolates in my own home and teaching chocolate making classes at weekends before opening York Cocoa House in 2011. With a career with M&S, fine dining and PR I developed a passion for food and drink and in particular chocolate.
Michelle Procter - Founder and Operations Director
Michelle is an experienced tourism and hospitality professional with a degree in Tourism and experience in management with Marriott Hotels, York Brewery and Betty's before creating York Cocoa House with Sophie
Florian Poirot - Chocolate Production
We are delighted to welcome friend and well respected confectioner Florian Poirot to the team. Florian trained classically in Paris before moving to York and working in chocolate R&D for a large manufacturer in York.
In 2017 Florian represented the UK in the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie.
Design Partners - LazenbyBrown
Mat Lazenby is Creative Director of LazenbyBrown, an award winning creative agency with a hard-won reputation in the field of brand design and strategy. Mat brings over 25 years of experience in the creative sector and brand development to the team