Imagine being with some of your closest friends in a cosy room with comfy seating and fairy lights - now add an array of chocolate and sweet treats.
That’s exactly what you will get if you book a chocolate lock-in at Cocoa Wonderland, an emporium of wonders and sweet delights on Ecclesall Road.
Co-owner Kate Shepherd said: “We hold these after hours in our Cocoa Den above the shop. We fill the fairy-lit room with a sweet feast which includes handmade chocolates, retro sweets, brownies, thick hot chocolate, lemonade and loose leaf teas. Guests have the place to themselves and their friends to indulge for three hours.”
Kate runs the store alongside her friend Anne Ashforth. They worked there while studying at Sheffield Hallam University and bought the business in 2006 - two years after it first opened.
It was just a tiny shop then, but Kate and Anne used their passion to develop it into a cafe serving tea, cakes and thick hot chocolate. They also work alongside Martha Bradshaw, chocolatier. Emily Havenhand, shop manager.
The duo also hold evening events, workshops and even a knit club and book club.
Most recently they have opened a chocolate kitchen in a back room where they make their own range of chocolate bars.
Kate added: “The beauty of Cocoa is that we sell a huge range of products that other shops don’t.
“We’re piled high with chocolates and sweeties from all around the world as well as locally produced.
“Our best sellers are the truffles made by Holdsworth Chocolates in Bakewell and the traditional sweets in glass jars that are popular with the school children and take adults back to their childhoods.
“We also sell a range of single estate and single origin chocolate that is treated just like wine and taken very seriously by connoisseurs.
“Our range of fun chocolate novelties are popular too – the favourites with customers are the chocolate cigars.”
Stepping in to the store is like stepping in to a real life chocolate factory. Every day Kate and Anne temper, mould and blend chocolate to make their range of delicious handmade treats.
You’ll find tasty and tempting flavours like salted toffee milk chocolate, rose & amaretti, and violet and raspberry dark chocolate slabs.
In future, Kate and Anne will be developing even more flavours for their range.
So you’ll definitely find something new to tempt your tastebuds.
Kate added: “This shop adds sparkle to your day and makes you feel like a kid again - a real wonderland.”
The shop is at 462 Ecclesall Road. You can also buy online at www.cocoawonderland.co.uk The shop is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5.30pm, and Sunday and Monday from noon to 5pm. You can call the store on 0114 268 5050. Search ‘Cocoa Chocolate Wonderland’ on Facebook.