York Cocoa House calls in administrators to maintain business trading

UK-based confectionery business, York Cocoa House, has appointed administrators to ensure that the company is able to maintain its operations, against a challenging economic backdrop, reports Neill Barston.

The company has traded successfully in its ethically-sourced chocolate for more than a decade from its headquarters in Yorkshire, and played a key role in our most recent edition of the World Confectionery Conference event held in Harrogate.

In addition, the business has run a wide range of community engagement sessions, including chocolate making with schools and other local groups, and has played a significant role in regional chocolate and food festivals in York, which is regarded as the UK’s capital of chocolate in York, for its strong connections to the foundations of major British businesses including Rowntree’s and Terry’s.

However, as Sophie Jewett, managing director of the business, explained to Confectionery Production, the company has encountered a combination of trading factors that have prompted her key course of action to call in administrators to keep the business afloat.

It comes amid an ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK, and around the world, which has seen both the cost of ingredients and energy prices rise considerably. In the UK retail inflation was running at a 40-year high  last year, which has steadily come down, yet is still significantly above levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid, continual pivoting, machinery breakages and energy prices created too much of a perfect storm that required a new way of thinking to be able to navigate into the future.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to continue building on what we’ve created and achieve with our focus on chocolate making and consumer and industry engagement. It’s an exciting time for independent chocolate makers in the U.K. and this confidence and optimism has driven our new strategy and vision to move forward following a challenging few years for many in the industry,” explained Sophie Jewett of the situation. As she added, it is her intention to continue managing the business, to ensure that the company that she co-founded, continues as she had anticipated.

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