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Our Story

The very first Hotel Chocolat shop opened its doors to guests in North London in 2004. It was the start of an amazing revolution in British chocolate by entrepreneurs Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris.

Today we have more than 80 shops in the UK, as well as cafes and restaurants, and we have opened our first three boutiques in Copenhagen. It's been a dynamic period of change and growth, but everything we do is still guided by the three basic values that we started with, and always will be.

What we believe in
  • Originality: Being fresh, creative and innovative, and always one surprising step ahead.
  • Authenticity: Keeping it real. We grow some of the cocoa we use, create our own chocolate recipes and even make chocolate fresh from the bean for some of our ranges.
  • Ethics: Reconnecting our love of chocolate with its roots. Cocoa farmers worldwide deserve respect and a fair deal. And that’s what we offer, from Saint Lucia to Ghana.

What makes our chocolate different?

Right from the start, we’ve never played by the rules of what people said a chocolate company should be.

We’re one of the world’s few chocolate makers to actually grow cocoa, on our beautiful plantation in Saint Lucia. Connecting cocoa growing with luxury chocolate making and retailing makes us unique in the UK.

When we first started making our Easter eggs over a decade ago, we were advised by experts to make them as thin as possible and put the chocolates on the outside.

We did the opposite – making ridiculously thick shells with all of our chocolates hidden inside for extra excitement.

Everybody said a slab of chocolate should be regular and divided into bite-sized pieces. Instead we made our curvy and iconic Giant Slabs.

Making our chocolates, our mantra has always been: More cocoa, less sugar, for a healthier and more satisfying cocoa hit. Our house grade milk chocolates are 40% and 50% cocoa, and even our white chocolate is 36% cocoa, well above the average.

And yes, Hotel Chocolat does have a hotel – the beautiful Boucan – where we created a dazzling Anglo-Saint Lucian dining experience with a twist of cocoa.

We brought it home to Britain, launching the Rabot 1745 restaurant in London and Roast+Conch in Leeds. We even sell savoury cocoa products in our stores.

We even have our own beauty range, inspired by therapies created at our plantation spa in Saint Lucia, made with our own cocoa.

At Hotel Chocolat, everything we do is only possible because of you, our lovely customers.

A Bite-Sized History of Hotel Chocolat


We started selling chocolates online, becoming one of the UK’s earliest ever “e-tailers”, predating the likes of Amazon and eBay.

The Chocolate Tasting Club is created – a vast community of chocolate tasters who receive unique selections each month.

The first-ever Hotel Chocolat shop opens, in North London!

To realise their dream of becoming cocoa farmers, Angus and Peter buy a beautiful 250-year-old cocoa plantation in Saint Lucia named Rabot Estate.

Hotel Chocolat’s first cafe opens in London’s Borough Market, serving a range of innovative cocoa-centred food and drinks. It quickly becomes popular.
In June, we launch the world’s first ‘Chocolate Bond’ to fund our development. We raise £4.2 million from enthusiastic supporters, who receive their interest paid in our chocolate!

Boucan, our luxury hotel, restaurant and spa, opens on our cocoa plantation in Saint Lucia, to huge acclaim. People start flying in from New York for the food.

Hotel Chocolat is voted the UK’s ‘most advocated’ British brand. We love you too!

London and Leeds are chosen as homes for our two new restaurants, bringing the cocoa plantation experience to Britain.

The School of Chocolate at Cocoa Vaults opens in Covent Garden, offering a world of chocolate adventures and experiences.
Copenhagen sees the launch of two brand new stores – our next steps overseas, powered by a second Chocolate Bond launch and our lovely customers!

Our first cookbook, A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate, is published, giving a unique insight into the award-winning dishes from our restaurants and allowing you to make them at home.
The School of Chocolate opens it's doors at our Copenhagen City store, offering new chocolate adventures and experiences to our customers in Denmark.
Our first West End store opens on Regent Street.
Our first 'refuel station' cafe opens in Cambridge. It sets a trend that we later roll out across all our cafes: there's a Chocolate Whip Bar, Fuel-Up Station with brownies and snacks, Selector Library and our flavour-matched selection of hot drinks.

And The Story Continues…

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Hotel Chocolat Ltd, Mint House, Royston, SG8 5HL

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