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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Our 10th Birthday party

So this Saturday is our 10th birthday party! If you are about in Sheffield then please do come down to Cocoa as there will be many treats for everyone to try. 

 Expect to feel like a child again, as we will play pass the parcel and guess how many sweets in the jar, prizes for all ages!
There will be plenty of samples for the launch of the new Made in Cocoa range, including Lemon & Poppy seed White chocolate buttons, Sea Salted Caramel brownies and even some savoury chocolate dishes.

 So what's happened over the past 10 years?

2004 - 2005 Year 1 The shop opens and founders Rachel and Jon employ Anne and Kate (friends at uni)

 2005 – 2006 Year 2 During the second year Rachel decides she wants to sell the business, Kate and I worry about what will happen and if we can still work there. I had a dream it turned into a fish and chip shop!

2006 – 2007 Year 3 We (Anne and Kate) buy the business at the same time as finishing our degrees at Sheffield Hallam uni. All very complicated but somehow it worked!

2007- 2008 Year 4 We spent every penny getting the lounge ready and finally opened the Cocoa café in September 2007 and later on the Boudoir (which was the office) upstairs.We also start to run our first free community event with knit club, because someone came in Cocoa and started knitting then suggested we have a club. And we start our first chocolate tasting session as a group of hens insisted that's what they wanted.

2008- 2009 Year 5 Our second free community event book club starts, partly because I wanted a reason to try and read more books. We had a floral tea party for Swallows and Damsons flowers & Fancie cakes. We hired our first member of staff Emily (our housemate at the time's sister), followed by Lizzy. And the recession hit the UK!

2009- 2010 Year 6  Three more members of staff this year! We celebrated our 5th birthday party. Another chocolate shop Chocadores opens across the road. Kate and I go to live on a chocolate plantation in Grenada for a whole month! We also attend chocolate school for a few days. Attempt our first Easter egg hunt in Botanical gardens. And then decide we have enough staff to stop working at the weekends!

2010-2011 Year 7 Chocolate shop Chocadores shuts after a year in business. We start hosting Chocolate Lock ins. Our website shop opens, so we can spead the chocolate love all over the UK Mott from the Grenada chocolate factory visits Cocoa. Kate and I go tea picking in south China.

2011-2012 Year 8  A big turn around of staff as all the girls head off to uni so more ladies join. We get a new Logo designed and stick to Cocoa Wonderland as the name of the business.

2012-2013 year 9 An epic moment in the shop as nearly all the sweet jars and glass shelves smash to the ground! We learn not to use glass shelves again. Steve Millington designs us an amazing sign for the front of the shop. Kate and I learn all about marketing from Faye of Keep your Fork. We meet the owners of Rococo in London and get to meet Joanne Harris in Sheffield. Do our first Pecha Kucha presentation on The Ethics of Chocolate. Start working on design work with Camilla of Butterscotch and Beesting. Start hiring out the cafe space as room hire in the day and night, opening the doors to many clubs that then run in Cocoa. And buy an oven and tempering machine to begin experimenting in the kitchen!

2013-2014 Year 10  Managed to get on the front cover of Transpenine Express, which is on all their trains for 6 months! Get an actual 'Cocoa' sign hand painted by Lord Bunn (after being nameless for along time!) Our Cocoa made chocolates begin to sell wholesale to Urban Pantry in Crookes and Florentine hotel in Fullwood. We are now busy enough to justify our first full time employer. And we meet up with local brewaryThornbridge to discuss a beer for our tenth anniversary.

Wow it feels exhausting just thinking we did all that!

Together we openly invite all customers to come and join us in celebrating this Saturday in Cocoa from 11am to 5.00pm. See you there!