Calling all chocoholics, next week marks one of the most important dates in the food calendar – National Chocolate Week.
To prepare for the annual celebration of one of our most loved sweet treats, Kate Shepherd is preparing to send her handmade chocolate goods to people across the country.
Kate is now the sole owner of Cocoa Wonderland, Ecclesall Road, and she is determined to make the name of the emporium a hot name on every true chocolate fan's lips.
The website, www.cocoaWonderland.co.uk, launched its online store earlier this month, and production has being ramped up at the shop’s little chocolate factory to meet demand.
Kate and her team of four can make up to 500 kilos of chocolate to meet demand and anticipate a big surge in orders as Christmas approaches
She said: “The brand is 14 years old now and began making its own chocolate in unique flavour combinations five years ago, after a month-long fact-finding mission to a Caribbean cocoa plantation in Grenada and a course with major chocolate manufacturer Callebaut in Banbury.
“Demand is growing for artisan-produced, high-quality chocolate with a provenance and we believe our Sheffield-made bars, made from up to 70 per cent cocoa solids from ethically-produced cocoa beans grown in West Africa, are among the cream.
“Our customers come back again and again for them and we supply to delis, gift shops and cafes across the city. Now we want to give chocoholics everywhere a taste for our Rhubarb and Custard, zingy Fruit Salad and cherry-studded Black Forest blocks.”
The online shop will sell chocolate bar gift sets in packaging created by Design Futures, the commercial design consultancy at Sheffield Hallam University, where Kate was a student.
Cocoa Wonderland now sources confectionary from around the world and stocks a number of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire artisan producers.
There is a cafe in the back parlour, an ice cream bar selling hand-made ices.
After-hours chocolate lock-ins, chocolate tasting and making sessions, monthly Coca book and knit clubs have put the shop on the map. National Chocolate Week starts on Monday, October 15.