York Cocoa House closes – business moves into chocolate works

15 Dec 2018 @ 9.13 am
| Business

York Cocoa House has closed. But chocolate lovers need not weep into their mocaccino.

Although the popular chocolate shop, café and workshop on Blake Street has gone, its activities will be transferred to the new York Cocoa Works on Castlegate.

Last week a notice on the Cocoa House window said the venue was closed temporarily due to technical problems.

But now owner Sophie Jewett has confirmed that it has closed for good, as she concentrates on the bigger operation.

She told YorkMix:

  • It was a difficult decision because we all loved it so much and it got us to where we are and we made so many friendships with our staff and our customers.

    But moving chocolate from one end of the city to the other just didn’t make wise use of our energies.

One outstanding destination

Sophie opened York Cocoa House – in 2011.

Selling an array of delicious home-made chocolates, alongside a café and a workshop where you could learn how to make your own sweet treats, it soon became a favourite of both residents and tourists.

And Sophie even won the backing of Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.

But Sophie had bigger plans – to open a new chocolate factory, and open a new chapter in the city’s long confectionery story.

York Cocoa Works opened this Easter and has developed considerably since then, Sophie said.

Sophie Jewett in York Cocoa Works. Photograph: Richard McDougall

“We have been overwhelmed by the journey that the Cocoa Works is taking us on.

“We’ve had lots of really exciting opportunities to collaborate internationally, particularly with specialist chocolate recipes for some really fantastic clients – and that requires us to work very differently as a business than we have been.”

She said they began to realise their energies were best focused making the most of the Cocoa Works opportunities “and creating one focused and outstanding chocolate destination”.

All jobs transferred

All the Cocoa House bookings, activities, workshops and products will move to the Cocoa Works, “where, in our purpose designed facilities our visitors can see our chocolate really being made,” said Sophie.

And all jobs have been transferred there too.

“I’m not sure what will happen to the property on Blake Street, it was very special to us with all its quirks and challenges – I hope it finds a considerate custodian,” Sophie added.

Now she is focused on making 2019 another great year for the Cocoa Works, saying:

  • We are excited about the future of the chocolate we can now make, the stories we can tell and the products we can share across York and beyond.

    And that must now be the focus of the team as we embrace the opportunities we have all worked hard to create.