York is about to go back to the future – as work begins on the first city centre chocolate factory in 50 years.
Plans were revealed for York Cocoa Works back in July.
Now a contractor is in place, ready to begin the transformation of the Castlegate premises from Monday (December 4).
York company Evora Construction has been appointed to the task. It aims to have the building phase of the project completed in February.
Academy and café
The York Cocoa Works project, which raised over £311,000 in a crowdfunding campaign, is the brainchild of city entrepreneur Sophie Jewett, who owns chocolate emporium York Cocoa House on Blake Street.
Evora will transform the building, which was once a Job Centre Plus, into a chocolate production, chocolate academy and chocolate development centre.
Using partition walls, they will create several areas designed to house the equipment used in each stage of the chocolate making process, as well as a café, shop and academy space.
“Bringing this project to life has been a really exciting experience,” Sophie said.
“We’ve received outstanding enthusiasm from the local community and the support has simply been overwhelming.”
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Evora Construction, which is in its ninth year of business, helped fit out the York Cocoa House shop and café when it opened in 2011.
“We’re looking forward to working with Sophie again at the start of another promising business venture,” said Richard Elam, Evora’s director.
“We work in various sectors across the region, including education and commercial, but it’s always good to work on local projects and help create new facilities in our wonderful city.”
[arve url=”https://youtu.be/XMZ4smrexsQ” title=”York Cocoa Works Nov 17″ /]
York Cocoa Works will be the first time York city centre has had a plant roasting and grinding cocoa beans since the closure of Craven’s Ebor Confectionery works in Coppergate in the Sixties.
The plan is to open by Easter 2018.
“We’ve had a long relationship with Evora Construction,” Sophie said.
“As a trusted York firm with a fantastic reputation, I am confident that they will deliver our vision for a community facility in York.”