Sweet success for York chocolatier

A York artisan chocolatier has set its sights on growth after moving into a new manufacturing facility and expanding its capacity for chocolate production.

York Cocoa House, founded in Blake Street the city in 2011, is aiming to produce 200 tonnes of chocolate each year through its new chocolate factory, shop, café and Cocoa Academy at York Cocoa Works, handling up to 50 tonnes of cocoa.

The increased volume of production will allow the company to expand further into the business-to-business market and grow the York Cocoa House own-brand offering within that market. Its aim is to turn over £1.5m by 2020 and grow its team by ten people.

The business has benefited from crowdfunding, development growth grants from the Leeds City Region and the University of York, and asset finance from Academy Leasing to fund its growth to date.

Academy Leasing recently funded the purchase of a bespoke chocolate manufacturing machine designed specifically to support small-scale craftsmanship – the latest in a series of asset loans Academy has arranged with the business.

Sophie Jewett, founder and managing director of York Cocoa House, said: “York Cocoa House is known for its artisan craftsmanship when it comes to chocolate and I’m proud to be supporting the city’s reputation for chocolate-making. I’ve had big ambitions for the business since day one and to now have the ability to produce hundreds of tonnes of chocolate right here in York, thanks to Academy Leasing, is very exciting.”

Angela Werner, from Academy Leasing, added: “Academy and York Cocoa House have worked together for six years, with Academy providing finance for a number of pieces of equipment in that time. Earlier this year, Sophie presented her plan for the new manufactory – it was clear to see that this is an exceptional business with a bright future so we had no problems in arranging support to open the new facility.”