Workshops opening a new chocolate chapter

Kate (left) and Anne (right) outside the Hide
Kate (left) and Anne (right) outside the Hide
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First there was the chocolate shop - and now there is the studio.

Kate Shepherd and Anne Ashforth, the owners of Cocoa Wonderland on Ecclesall Road, have branched out by opening a chocolate-making studio at The Hide on Scotland Street near West Bar.

The venue will host chocolate workshops, as well as providing a space for Kate and Anne to make their own products.

The pair always dreamed of creating their own, in-house treats, an ambition first realised two years ago. Their chocolate can now be found in shops including the Millennium Galleries, Moonko on Division Street and various delicatessens across Sheffield, and the studio will help to meet demand.

“After years of selling chocolates made by other makers we are so proud to have our very own range made here in Sheffield,” said Anne.

They are happy with their mode of expansion, Kate added.

“It was never our aim to open lots of shops - it didn’t feel right or seem possible to replicate our special shop,” she said.

The old schoolfriends - both aged 31 - started working in Cocoa as Saturday girls, then took on the shop when its owner retired 10 years ago.

For several years the shop has hosted ‘chocolate lock-ins’, and workshops have always been high on the list of customers’ requests.

The next events at The Hide are tonight (Thursday) from 7pm, and on January 20. Activities include truffle-making, chocolate-tasting and decorating a themed cake.

n Tickets £65, available at www.cocoawonderland.co.uk or the Ecclesall Road shop.