Hotel Chocolat is a British chocolatier and a unique type of chocolate company that connects luxury chocolate making and retailing with cocoa growing – it is one of the world’s few chocolate makers to actually grow its own cocoa. Founded in 2004, Hotel Chocolat is a privately owned company with the original co-founders, Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, still very much involved.
1. Cocoa Grower Since 2005, Hotel Chocolat has been growing rare cocoa on its 140-acre cocoa plantation, Rabot Estate, in Saint Lucia. It is the island’s oldest working cocoa plantation, dating back to 1745.
2. Chocolate Maker Hadley Park, located in Cambridgeshire is Hotel Chocolat’s state-of-the-art chocolate manufacturing facility. In addition, the company operates a warehousing and distribution centre, also in Cambridgeshire.
3. Omni-Channel Retailer Hotel Chocolat spans the range of retail channels – including online shopping and delivery; a collection of stores in major cities and market towns across Great Britain; European stores in Denmark; franchise stores in Jersey and Guernsey; and concessions in John Lewis and Heal’s stores across the United Kingdom and David Jones in Australia.
4. Hotelier & Restaurateur In 2011 Hotel Chocolat opened Boucan Hotel & Restaurant – a 14-room boutique hotel and 54-seater restaurant set on the Rabot Estate cocoa plantation in Saint Lucia.
5. Chocolate Tasting Club Founded in 1998, The Chocolate Tasting Club sends its members all-new selections of chocolates, which are available every four weeks. Members can score and comment upon the chocolates, which in turn influences future recipes. With an average of 100,000 members it’s no doubt the world’s largest continuous research into chocolate preferences!