2015 feels a challenge to imagine topping! We had some notable and very proud achievements for the team winning the Deliciously Yorkshire award for Best Beverage for our Classic Hot Chocolate and Sophie - our Chocolate Lady won the Institute of Directors Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
We had even more fun with the Chocolate Show and Small Business Saturday - with Sophie and Louise being invited to Downing Street and even sold a box of chocolates to the Chancellor!
York welcomed it's own Chocolate Hotel - Hotel Indigo, we created them their own special giant chocolate Easter Egg, which was nearly big enough for Ellie to hide in.
Our favourite program Saturday Kitchen came to visit to celebrate Chocolate Week, but sadly no James Martin! But by far the most exciting thing to happen was a visit from Sir Terry Wogan taking a foodie tour around Britain! We managed to teach him a thing about chocolate making, until he tried turning the molinillos into maracas! Sir Terry made a better chocolate taster than maker!
As if the year couldn't have got more exciting, we were extraordinarily pleased to welcome the International Chocolate Awards to York. With so many amazing and inspirational chocolate makers working so hard to create the most gorgeous chocolates we have ever tasted, it was wonderful to welcome them to York to share with them the history that makes us love chocolate as much as we do. I'm not sure what you call a collective of chocolatiers, but for us it was definitely kindred spirits!
After all that and a very busy Christmas we had better get on with 2016!
2014 saw us put a major focus on creating all our own chocolates and celebrating our Yorkshire recipes that we founded the Cocoa House on. They went down a storm, especially with some of our international visitors that joined us as the Tour De France flew through York.
York had a visit from the Liberal Democrat Party convention, Sophie cheekily sent them a message that "we looked forward to seeing the Deputy Prime Minister buying lots of souvenirs from York's shops", we didn't quite expect that following that tweet he would actually turn up, but he did! He got a lecture about just how important the chocolate industry was - of course!
We also managed to escape on a few adventures, particularly exciting was an escapade to Somerset House where we were invited to a very special Chocolate House hosted by Heston Blumenthal creating interesting things with chocolate - the Roast Been Mars Bar was certainly an experience! A trip to Downing Street, we were proud to be part of Small Business Saturday 100 and become a partner in the fabulous Chocolate Show!
It was definitely a busy year! To top it off we started working with some amazing businesses and were very excited to embark on the export side of our business!
2013 was an amazing year, with a great deal of pride we won the Visit York Cafe of the Year and it was the year we worked with Pilot Theatre on 2 amazing productions - Clocking In and Blood + Chocolate, and then to top it off we won the Press Association Growth Accelerator award which meant we started working with Dragon's Den business woman extraordinaire Deborah Meaden.
It was a year where so many people came together to celebrate York's Chocolate Industry and share their memories and experiences of their time working in the chocolate factories or what life was like growing up in a city that smells of chocolate.
On top of that we launched it was great to see how well our Afternoon Chocolate and Savoury Chocolate menu went down with everyone, we knew you'd come round to having chocolate with everything eventually!
It was definitely a very big year for us, very chocolatey!
We've been looking back at our old pictures of when we first discovered the building that would become our little Cocoa House, we thought we'd share them with you so you can see how we've been growing over the last few years. It's very strange looking back and remembering those early days, I was still making chocolates in my own kitchen, we had a couple of staff who had been on a work experience placement with us and Michelle worked for someone else and would with much dedication come and paint and clean at weekends, days off and evenings, until eventually, 3 weeks later we'd pulled it all together in time to get open the first day of the St Nicholas Christmas Fair. That team are still part of our Cocoa House family, still each Christmas when they join us, now in their University holiday's, we still laugh about that first day we opened.
Will keep pinning to our Pinterest boards as we discover them!