Sheffield Property: Watch video tour of house previously owned by famous Thorntons chocolatiers
A 19th Century home in Sheffield, previously owned by the famous Thorntons chocolatiers, has just been sold pending the completion of all relevant paperwork.
The eight bedroom property, on Glencoe Road, Norfolk Park, was built in 1889 and once belonged to Joseph William Thornton, who founded the famous Thorntons chocolate brand with his father in 1911.
The property's deeds show the name Mabel Adela Thornton, believed to have been Joseph’s niece.
Joseph died in 1919, with Mabel taking ownership of the house in 1953.
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The current owners, Mark Suter and his wife Catherine, were keen for a blue plaque to be installed at the house in recognition of its heritage but decided not to due to their fostering commitments.
Thorntons set off making homemade sweets and at the height of its success employed 4,500 workers at more than 370 high street shops and 229 franchise counters across the country.
The company’s first shop was the Chocolate Kabin on Norfolk Street in Sheffield, where the family sold homemade sweets.
By the 1920s the family was making chocolate truffles, crystallised fondants and their famous Thorntons special toffee.
A second store on The Moor quickly followed, where chocolates were made in a back room.
Production then moved to Archer Road in Sheffield and then to a converted former Rolls-Royce warehouse in Belper to cope with demand and by 1939 the family had 35 shops.
Boiled sweets were then added to the treats sold by the family before Belgian and Swiss-style chocolates.
Ferrero International bought the company in 2015 for £110m.
The company now mainly operates online and through supermarkets.
Mr Suter, a foster parent who is selling the home, said: “We weren’t aware of the history until a few years ago. We were really shocked to find this house had history.”
Mark was given the old deeds to the property and, along with a letter seen exclusively by The Star, learnt the Thorntons used to live at the property.
The letter, written by Mabel Thornton in 1977, revealed the strong connection her family had to Sheffield and to the Glencoe Road property, despite a desire for her and her parents to leave the area for Laceby in Lincolnshire.
It appears Mabel’s mother had originally been from Laceby before marrying into the Thornton family.