EVER SINCE Roald Dahl penned the immortal tale of young Charlie, being let loose in a chocolate factory has been the ultimate fantasy for sweet-toothed youngsters and adults alike.
That dream will become a reality for a lucky bidder and a guest in The Yorkshire Post’s ‘money-can’t-buy’ charity auction, thanks to the region’s answer to Willy Wonka.
Stephen Trigg, co-founder of award-winning Lauden Chocolate, has donated a golden ticket tour of the company’s new factory in Leeds in support of this year’s Christmas appeal.
Their offering is slightly more sophisticated than everlasting gobstoppers and lickable wallpaper, however.
In the seven years since Mr Trigg and wife Sun set up the business, specialising in luxury chocolate, has scooped a wealth of coveted industry awards, and boasts an impressive customer base.
Their products are found on the shelves of top-end retailers such as Fortnum and Mason and Lauden is the chocolate of choice for British Airways first-class and Michelin-star restaurants.
The personal tour of the new factory will tantalise taste buds with a session sampling chocolate from across the world, followed by a look behind the scenes at the love and care which goes into crafting each little piece of heaven.
The winning bidder and guest will then get to create some of their own chocolates, and go home with a box themselves.
Before founding Lauden, Mr and Mrs Trigg spent all their spare time learning, researching ingredients and refining their chocolate palate, searching for the finest cacao in the world, to make the finest chocolates in the world, and they are keen to share their enthusiasm and knowledge, while raising money for Scarborough RNLI’s specialist launcher.
The crew is aiming to take its new, state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat on rescues from 2016, but needs to secure £200,000 for the equipment, called a Supacat.
While the public has already shown great generosity towards the cause, The Yorkshire Post’s Christmas Appeal, in partnership with PR agency Cicada Communications, will attempt to give the charity the missing piece of the jigsaw through the auction.
“It’s a very special treat, particularly for true chocolate-lovers,” said Mr Trigg.
“We’re really happy to support such a brilliant local campaign and just hope this prize will encourage people to bid. Not only are you getting a one-off, you’re also giving the cash to a great cause.”
For those who prefer the feeling of wind in their hair there is our next lot, which offers bidders the chance to take in the beauty and splendour of the Yorkshire Dales during a chauffeured drive for two people in two beautiful sports cars.
From the luxury of a Morgan Plus 8 and a Morgan Aero 8, you will be driven around some of the most scenic parts of the county after being picked up from a location of your choice, followed by a tasty pub lunch.
Sports lovers have a double treat with this week’s auction. Rugby league giants Leeds Rhinos has donated a family day out to its Boxing Day festive challenge against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, while The Yorkshire Post is inviting one lucky bidder to experience a day-in-the-life of its sports reporters.
And soap fans are being granted exclusive access to the set of ITV’s Emmerdale. For one afternoon, two people will get the chance to tour studios and village where the drama is filmed.
Bidding closes at 5pm on Friday, before another 10 lots going under the hammer will be unveiled.
You can make a donation by sending a cheque for the RNLI to Scarborough Lifeboat Station, Foreshore Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 1PB. Please make it clear it is part of the Yorkshire Post Christmas Appeal.
• Bid for this week’s auctions Keep up-to-speed with what’s on offer on twitter @yorkshirepost #YPxmasauction and also follow The Yorkshire Post’s facebook page.