Hotel Chocolat confirms plans for 140 confectionery manufacturing roles at its UK base

UK premium confectionery brand Hotel Chocolat has confirmed expansion of its operations with plans to recruit 140 new manufacturing employees at its advanced facilities at Hadley Park, Huntingdon, reports Neill Barston.

As Confectionery Production recently reported, CEO Angus Thirlwell indicated a total of 250 roles would be created across the business during the next year in the wake of its strong performance across its core British markets, as well as experiencing growth in other territories including Japan and the US.

The company has expanded its range of stores, also moving into chocolate inspired cafes (pictured), which have further increased its physical presence, as well as expanding its online offering considerably.

According to the company, its recruitment drive will support its transformation from 45,000 square feet to 195,000 square feet by 2026, with manufacturing roles available including skilled operatives and chocolate technicians.

The site – which is located between Cambridge, Peterborough and easily accessible from the A14 motorway – already employs 275 people plus agency staff, producing 250 million chocolates a year.

Despite the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, last year, the company recorded annual revenues up 21% to £165 million, that has underpinned its latest plans for expansion.

Ollie Hughes, Site Manufacturing Manager at Hotel Chocolat, (above), said: “Hotel Chocolat is on an exciting journey so we are heavily investing in our Huntingdon site to make it the ‘center of excellence’ for chocolate production. It will look remarkably different as it evolves over the next five years, and we are over the moon to be boosting the local job economy at the same time. It’s a great time to join us.”

Hotel Chocolat has experienced significant growth over the past year, with a sharp rise in UK online sales and a considerable increase in revenue from the USA and Japan. As the company added, those joining the business will be offered a key package of benefits including company discounts and opportunities to stay at its own Rabot Hotel in St Lucia, where the company sources its cocoa supplies.

Ollie continued: “We are looking for people who want to be part of the Hadley Park family. Whether it’s working with our hot chocolate ranges or innovation products, there’s lots of opportunity for development and learning new skills. Be it the production, engineering, hygiene or mixing department – everyone plays a key part and we can’t wait for this next stage of growth.”

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