Our Story

By Linda Barrie, Founder and Chief Taster

There’s something soul-satisfying about chocolate – like a miniature holiday for your senses.

The Choc Affair story began in 2006 when I realised that my daughters had an intolerance to milk – a devastating discovery for children who love chocolate. As there were few alternatives available back then, I decided to have a go myself and with a little time and a whole lot of soy milk I created a hot chocolate they loved. While my first little customers were pretty devoted, they also gave me the idea for a business making handmade chocolate. The next step was a dark chocolate stirrer that melted in warm milk to create an instant chocolatey drink – something we still make today. As demand grew – and not just at home – and with my house now permanently smelling of molten chocolate, I gave up my day job to become a full-time chocolatier.

As family members were always being drafted in to help, stir, drive and taste, most of them eventually joined the company and after first converting our garage, we eventually rented an old joinery as our first chocolate HQ. After that, things really started growing and before long we’d moved into our current home in Hazel Court.

As a business, however, we always wanted to do good by the world and create confectionary that came with a clear conscience. That’s why every bean we use is responsibly and sustainably produced, with a little extra paid for every kilo to help reforest the cocoa-growing regions of Colombia. It’s also why we never use cheap shortcuts like palm oil, and support the small farms and cooperatives we work with and the local community that surrounds them, as well as our own community here in York.

Sixteen years later we’re still making handmade chocolate that has a positive impact and we still love doing it. What more could we ask for?

Choc Affair Timeline

 

2006

Linda makes her first hot chocolate and Choc Affair was born!

Still 2006

Linda takes her first batch of samples into a deli to meet our first potential buyer. Linda slips on the tiles and has to be caught by him, dramatically starting a friendship that’s now spanned sixteen years.

2007

Chocolate bars and lollies are introduced into our new range.

2008

We got our first company van and put an image of Linda’s children eating lollies on it. Two children become pretty horrified when they see it.

2009

Another family member, Linda's brother-in-law, Ian, joins the company, Choc Affair moved into an old joinery and expands to include a small team.

2010

We start work with the local probation team helping people start afresh in a new workplace.

2011

Our signature range of flavour-infused bars is launched to an incredible impact.

2012

The first batch of our iconic chocolate cupcakes are hand delivered around the UK.

2013

We send Linda to Colombia and our relationship with the local cocoa farmers begins. We also move into our new home at Hazel Court.

2014

2014 was the year that we invested in our first 75kg tempering machines and melting tank.

2015

Our work with both the Blueberry Academy and Changing Lives begins.

2016

We become a contributing partner to the ICI cocoa initiative.

2017

We opened our first Christmas pop up shop in York.

2018

We become vegan certified for our 60% cocoa dark chocolate

2019

Underwent a brand refresh with our modern new look

2020

We made it through the pandemic with the support of our amazing customers.

2021

We were delighted to win Socially Responsible Business of The Year.

2022

To be Continued…

To be continued