What is Hotel Chocolat?
Hotel Chocolat is a UK-based chocolatier and cocoa grower founded in 1988 by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris. It is the only company in the country to grow on its own plantation. Today, they have around 93 shops as well as cafes and restaurants. They have also opened their first three boutiques in Copenhagen and they also have a hotel on their working plantation in the Caribbean.
The co-founders originally designed and sold mints as MMC before moving to chocolates after 6 years. They rebranded their company as Geneva Chocolates and they adapted trade to the catalogue-based world and before long, had steered towards the name Choc Express. Within the next few years, they had turned their focus on creating this brand of exclusive chocolates available to UK consumers. In 2003, Choc Express was rebranded as Hotel Chocolat and opened its first retail store in the centre of Wattford.
Sincce 2005, the company has been growing rare cocoa on its 140-acre cocoa plantation, Rabot Estate, in Saint Lucia. It is the island’s oldest working cocoa plantation, dating back to 1745. Their state-of-the-art chocolate manufacturing facility is located in Hadley Park, Cambridgeshire. In addition, the company operates a warehousing and distribution centre, also in Cambridgeshire. They span their range of retail channels to include online shopping and delivery, as well as a collection of stores in major cities and market towns across Great Britain; European stores in Denmark; franchise stores in Jersey and Guernsey; and concessions in John Lewis and Heal’s stores across the United Kingdom and David Jones in Australia.
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Inspiring Company Peter Harris Hotel Chocolat interviewed by Kate Tojeiro
Peter Harris, co-founder of Hotel Chocolat talks openly to Kate Tojeiro, Executive Performance Coach (www.the-x-fusion.co.uk) about this extraordinary company's growth from humble beginnings to the subsequent trailblazing of something completely new and different for fine chocolate. Peter speaks keenly about courage, the importance of listening to your customers and whatever it is you want to do, start it now! This interview is one in a series by Kate Tojeiro with inspiring people from all walks of life.
What does Hotel Chocolat sell?
The British chocolatier is a unique type of chocolate company that connects luxury chocolate making and retailing with cocoa growing. They are constantly striving to be fresh, creative and innovative, and always one surprising step ahead. They started making their Easter eggs more than a decade ago and instead making them thin, they opted for ridiculously thick shells that are still satisfyingly snappable.
Their iconic Giant Slabs are inspired by the shape of molten chocolate when you pour it onto the cool marble of a chocolatier’s table. More recently, they reinvented their smaller Slabs for their Rare & Vintage range, inspired by the crisp lines of pleated fabric to create a unique aesthetic that’s both functional and beautiful.
They have also created the world’s first single-côte chocolate, developed their own chocolate genre, Supermilk, innovated with cocoa cuisine from spiced cocoa nib ketchup to white chocolate horseradish and even cocoa gin, and the invention goes on. They’re constantly embracing new technologies and ideas.
How do I contact Hotel Chocolat?
- You can use their Online Contact Form for any enquiries you have.
- You can also find answers to common questions on their FAQ’s.
- You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For orders you can call them on 03444 93 13 13.
- You can call their customer service team on 03444 93 23 23.
Customer service opening times:
- Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 8pm
- Saturday: 8:30am to 5pm
- Sunday and Bank Holidays: 9am-5pm
If you prefer in writing, their postal address is:
What are the delivery options for Hotel Chocolat?
UK Standard Delivery
- Cost: £3.95 (1 item) and £4.95 (2 or more items).
- Delivery Time: Order by 6pm GMT and they’ll deliver your order within 3-5 working days.
UK Nominated & Next Day
- Cost: £4.95 (1 item) and £5.95 (2 or more items). The option of Nominated Day AM delivery is also available and additional charges apply (1 item £6.95, 2 or more items £8.95).
- Delivery Time: Order by 6pm GMT for Next Day Delivery or for delivery on the nominated date of your choosing (excluding Sundays and Bank Holidays).
UK Saturday Delivery
- Cost: £4.95 (1 item) and £5.95 (2 or more items).
- Delivery Time: Order by 3pm GMT on Friday for Saturday delivery (excluding Bank Holiday Friday).
UK Free Click & Collect
- This service is free if all items in your order are available from store stock.
UK Click & Collect
- Cost: £3.95 (1 item) and £4.95 (2 or more items).
- Delivery Time: If the item you are ordering for Click & Collect is NOT available from store stock, they will send the item from their warehouse. This standard service incurs a charge and your item(s) won’t be available for immediate collection.
UK Same-Day Delivery
- Cost: From £5.95. Delivery costs will vary and are based on distance from one of their stores and the size of the parcel.
- Delivery Time: Order by 3pm GMT and their same-day Shutl courier service guarantees delivery of items within 90 minutes, or within a designated timeslot of your choice.
For more international delivery and more information, visit their full Delivery Information page,
How do I return an item to Hotel Chocolat?
- If you’re not satisfied with your order or have changed your mind, contact their customer service and they will provide you with details on how you can return your purchase.
- You have within 14 days of receipt to return your goods.
- You can return your order to any of their UK stores.
- Any sums that you have already paid for cancelled goods and their delivery will be refunded to you.
- Please note that if any cancelled goods are delivered to you, you must return them to Hotel Chocolat.
- They will bear the cost of returning the cancelled goods.
- Refunds will be issued within 14 calendar days
For more information, read their full Terms & Conditions page.
Meet the Chocolatiers - Learn more about their chocolatiers as they give you an insight into their world of chocolate making.