We're sharing our plans to bring fine chocolate making back to York with our vision for York Cocoa Works. We're creating a chocolate production, education and development centre at 10 Castlegate and we're inviting you to join us to be part of the next stage of our chocolate making adventure!
We're now live on crowdcube and looking to our community of chocolate lovers to have the opportunity to join us on this next stage of the journey.
I have just seen how long it has taken us to update the website and share any of our latest news, it's mostly because we've been squirrelling away working to make our vision happen. We've had little snippets but wanted to get things in place first.
I'm really excited to share with you our plans to bring fine chocolate making back to York. We have just collected the keys this last week for our new property at 10 Castlegate where we will be creating York Cocoa Works. It will be a chocolate production, education and development centre in the heart of York, just yards from the spot where Henry Isaac Rowntree started his Cocoa, Chocolate and Chicory business in the old Tuke store.
Over the last 3 years we've been trialling recipes, ingredients and equipment and have met so many amazing chocolate lovers and experts who have helped us on our journey. Your input has helped us craft our vision and plan to create outstanding chocolate from fabulous cacao.
We have lots of work to do still, and the team need to get on site to complete the fit-out. We hope this will be starting in September ready for us to be open in January 2018, just after Christmas.
In the meantime you'll see some changes to our brand and products as we continue on this journey. I'd love your input and to involve you in the process, particularly in tasting our chocolate as we get the hang of our ingredients and equipment over the coming months and respond to the flavours of the latest cacao harvests coming from our friends in Colombia, Peru and Uganda.
I've been wanting to share this for such a long time, there's just been so much work to do, and there is still to come, but I can't wait to tell you more. You can keep updated with the project by signing up here or visit the York Cocoa Works website and discover how you can be involved by joining us at our forthcoming Discovery Events.
Before you go and discover more about our plans I'd like to just say thank you, it's been an amazing 6 years at the York Cocoa House, our plans and our vision has been entirely shaped by our community, our customers and an amazing team of chocolate lovers who have joined us. We would not be able to embark on this next phase without your feedback, support and custom, I hope you will continue to join us and be part of the next 6 years of chocolate making.
Many, many thanks
Learn more about the project at www.yorkcocoaworks.com
We know it's far too late to be wishing a Happy New Year, but in our business we've found ourselves spending half the year living and breathing Christmas, we're now definitely over it and ready to get very excited about what's going to be happening in the year ahead.
Well we have decided that this is very much the year for us to Love Chocolate! Well that's nothing new, surely? Well it's not really! We adore chocolate, and we're still very much in love with it as much, if not more so, than when we started! However there's been some very sad stories in the media recently about bean to bar chocolate products and more recently about the questionable sourcing of beans. It's very much reminded us why we went into the chocolate business in the first place.
Our ambition has always been to make chocolate ourselves, from the cocoa bean to the finished product, shortening the supply chain and making sure we can pass more value onto our chocolate loving customers and more wealth to the farmers who grow the cacao.
With this in mind I've decided to declare our new year's resolutions. In 2015 we made our own products from what we in the industry call 'couverture' - that means that a much larger chocolate maker has roasted, ground and blended the cacao before it reaches us, the chocolatiers, pretty much most of the industry work this way. By the end of 2015 we were creating our Own Blend Couverture that we used to make our Elect Chocolates, our Award Winning Signature Hot Chocolate, 60% Own Blend Buttons and Fondant Creams. It was a start and was able to teach us lots about the chocolate making process and about our customers, we've been able to honestly say we don't use any soy lecithin to thin the chocolate down, and have never put milk into our machinery and we've learnt how much you value these points.
While it accounted for about 10% of our chocolate sales, we want to be able to have a much more distinctive quality to our products and ensure that money we spend in ingredients is being spent as wisely as it can.
This week our first shipment of South American Cocoa Nibs arrive, there might be some changes in taste, but we believe they will all be for the better as we start playing around with different blends and recipes.
I'm very much looking forward to sharing the results with you soon. In the meantime, come and ask for a sample if you're passing, you can help us get the flavour spot on!
Hope you have a great start to 2016!
Lots of Love