Sheffield entrepreneur set to open his own chocolate factory in the city - and you can book a tour from today
A Sheffield entrepreneur is set to open a new chocolate factory in the city this year – and fans will be able to book their tour from today.
Max Scotford had to rapidly adapt his ‘bean to bar’ craft chocolate business Bullion when the national lockdown hit last March, switching his focus from running a cafe at the Cutlery Works food hall in Kelham Island, and supplying three varieties of chocolate to retailers, to relying solely on online sales.
Bullion survived and thrived in the toughest of times, with loyal customers still buying online, and the business evolved to sell everything from chocolate candles to cocoa nib liqueur and gifts.
Now Max has taken the keys of a new larger space down the road in Neepsend, which will be used for manufacturing their new array of products, but also to show fans exactly how their chocolate is created with exciting experiences he hopes will be a boost for Sheffield.
Former Sheffield Hallam University student Max, who launched his business at the age of 23 in 2017, told the Sheffield Telegraph: “Bean to bar chocolate is a relatively new concept, most chocolate makers buy it ready made.
"We actually import the cocoa beans, roast them and make chocolate from scratch. It’s quite an amazing process. To see it in action will be a way for people to see something new and have a new appreciation of craft chocolate.
"We want to invite people down at weekends to see it being made, taste how different the origins are, and then take them back to Cutlery Works where they can have a hot chocolate and a bite to eat.”
As the one year anniversary of lockdown took place last week, Max remembered the shock of having to close his cafe, and thanked customers for keeping them going.
Bullion also clinched a corporate deal with The Royal Mint in 2020, creating a chocolate bar laced with gold for the British maker. It has led to other important collaborations.
“That was like God coming down and giving a helping hand”, said trained chef Max, of the Royal Mint deal.
"We’ve got the brand Bullion and they make the bullion for the country so it was a good fit.
"When lockdown hit all we had was our website, it has been our saving grace. We knew focusing on products was the only way generate revenue and we’ve really tried out best, we have been so pleased with the response from our customers, whether they have bought from us or told a friend.”
To book a £16 tour of the Bullion site when it opens, including a hot drink, visit https://www.bullionchocolate.com/pages/experiances