Discover the Sweet History of York Chocolate - Cats

Discover the Sweet History of York Chocolate

York is a city steeped in history, with its ancient roots dating back to the Roman conquest of Britain. One of the city’s most famous exports is its delicious chocolate, which has been enjoyed by people around the world for over 250 years.

The history of chocolate in York began in the early 18th century, when Quaker families such as the Terrys and the Rowntrees established a thriving cocoa trade in the city. In 1767, Mary Tuke opened the first chocolate shop in York, selling her home-made cocoa delights to an eager public.

Over the following decades, the Terry and Rowntree families became major players in the chocolate industry, producing some of the UK’s most popular chocolate brands, including KitKat, Smarties, and Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

But it wasn’t just the big chocolate companies that helped to establish York as a chocolate capital. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, small independent shops and factories dotted around the city would source their cocoa from the big manufacturers, creating their own unique flavours and recipes.

One such shop was York’s famous Little Chocolate Shop, which has been delighting customers with its handmade truffles and chocolates since 1937. Another was the celebrated Craven’s of York, which opened in 1852 and still sells its delicious chocolate in its beautiful 19th-century shop on Coppergate.

Today, York is home to a thriving chocolate industry, with a vast array of independent chocolatiers and small-scale chocolate producers. Visitors to the city can explore its rich chocolate heritage through a range of experiences, from guided tours of the big chocolate factories to tastings of small-batch artisanal chocolate.

One of the most popular destinations for chocolate lovers is York’s Chocolate Story, a museum and visitor attraction that tells the story of York’s chocolate industry through interactive exhibits and guided tours. Visitors can learn about the history of chocolate, the art of chocolate-making, and even try their hand at making their own chocolates.

For those looking to explore York’s independent chocolate scene, the York Cocoa House is a must-visit. This charming café and shop sells a range of artisanal chocolates made on the premises, and offers workshops and tasting sessions for chocolate enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a serious chocolate aficionado or simply enjoy indulging in the odd sweet treat, York’s rich history of chocolate-making makes it a fascinating and indulgent destination. So next time you’re in the city, be sure to treat yourself to some of York’s famous chocolate – it’s a taste sensation that’s been delighting chocolate lovers for centuries.

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