Retailer to bring chocolate making to city centre

Sophie Jewett, owner of York Cocoa Works
Sophie Jewett, owner of York Cocoa Works
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Chocolate production is set to return to York with the launch of a new manufacturing site in the city.

York Cocoa Works will be developed at Castlegate on the site of a former Job Centre Plus, creating 15 jobs.

The single-storey building will be transformed to create a chocolate production, chocolate academy and chocolate development centre.

Entrepreneur Sophie Jewett, owner of the retail emporium York Cocoa House, is behind the £750,000 venture, supported by local investors. She has taken a 10-year lease on the Castlegate premises.

Ms Jewett, who launched York Cocoa House in 2011, was keen to bring chocolate making back to York following the closure of the Terry’s factory in 2005.

She said: “We want to create a community facility in the heart of York where we can demonstrate to visitors how our chocolate is created, from the raw cocoa ingredients to our finished products.

“The centre will provide an environment in which we can showcase our chocolate making skills to new generations of chocolate makers who share our passion for chocolate and its York heritage.”

Emma Warner, commercial property partner at Langleys Solicitors, advised the lease deal. Mass Architecture created the design of the site.

The conversion of the Castlegate premises will start in September with York Cocoa Works due to open in early 2018.

It is staging an open day at Castlegate on Tuesday, August 8, for people to find out more about the project.