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Cocoa Wonderland Phase 2:

I'm excited to announce that Cocoa's HQ has a new home!! I just want to tell you a little bit about our journey here...

We have finally made it, this is a huge achievement for Anne and I. For the past few years, we've struggled more and more for time, space and money. As many of you will know Cocoa Wonderland began as just one tiny room at the front of the shop run by just Anne and I.

From the age of 21, we worked 6-7 days (as well as nights) and paid ourselves a pittance so we could invest any profits there was we made back into the business so it could slowly grow into the wonderland we so dearly dreamt of. The kitchen was a storage room, the Cocoa lounge (where you escape the world & sip hot chocolate) was another store room and the upstairs (now butterfly boudoir where we you have your parties) was an office. Over the years Cocoa has spread the chocolate love and taken over the whole building, we've made sure we make use every single nook and cranny.

After a few years of being relatively uncreative and being envious of other chocolatiers and disappointing customers after telling them we hadn't made any of the products in the shop, we were so happy to be able to use our imaginations again. We were creating something and selling it too! Customers would go for our chocolate over other brands, we were flattered! However we couldn't meet demand operating from such a tiny space with only a small window of time to work with. Anne and I were also very much dependent on the day to day running of the shop and felt that it couldn't operate without us there. The thought of both of us moving somewhere else and leaving our staff was very daunting. Plus we couldn't pay ourselves a decent wage let alone paying a full time member of staff.

Our dream was to have a studio somewhere with an office too, a shop manager and to see our chocolate in other shops around Sheffield. Unfortunately this wasn't going to happen in a hurry! Every day customers would suggest great business ideas (that were already on our very long list of things we'd like to do). However we couldn't push any of them because we spent long days working in the shop (morning chocolate making and often hosting events in the evenings), we also had no access to money to invest. We were stuck, extremely frustrated and felt our dreams would never become reality...

Things started to look up when we decided to take the plunge and employ our first full time member of staff. We found out our friend (and saviour) Emily was looking for work, we were at the peak of frustration and knew she'd be perfect for Cocoa. We employed her right away. Cocoa was never going to grow otherwise. Anne and I carried on in the shop for a couple of years teaching Emily the ropes and gradually giving her more responsibility. Emily being very capable and hard working, meant that we could take time out of the shop serving, ordering etc. to push the business and plan phase 2 of Cocoa Wonderland....

Cocoakate x

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