Date announced for new chocolate attraction in York

©Chocolate-York's Sweet Story

CHOCOLATE – York’s Sweet Story, a delicious new visitor attraction, is opening in the centre of York on 31 March 2012.

When CHOCOLATE – York’s Sweet Story opens, visitors will be taken on a journey that begins in Central America’s rainforests to discover how confectionery found a home in York.

Memories from the people of York and generations of secrets from the families that founded the confectionery companies Rowntree’s, Terry’s and Craven’s will be shared for the first time using innovative interpretative techniques and precious objects from the past to bring each story to life.

An expert confectioneer will guide visitors through this delicious journey from the Aztecs and Mayans to the present day confectionery industry that continues to thrive in York.

Visitors will also learn how the confectionery industry became one of the city's biggest employers – at its peak Rowntree’s was a town within a town, employing 14,000 people - and encounter some of the people who made that happen.

Stories will uncover tales of how a Quaker named Mary Tuke made such an impact on the city and its people when she opened a grocery store in 1725 selling cocoa; how the production of sugared almonds in the French Almond Works in York influenced 1960s fashion; and how if it wasn’t for two men who sold cough lozenges and lemon and orange peel in 1767, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and All Gold wouldn’t exist today.

York’s confectionery industry’s chocolate roots led to the development of specialist skills using sugar and flavours to develop gums and boiled sweets such as York Fruits, Craven’s Humbugs and the unforgettable Polos, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Fruit Gums.

No story of York and confectionery would be complete without a celebration of the life of Kit Kat, the billion dollar brand that started its life as Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp and is now the most global confectionery brand with 17.8 billion fingers sold every year appearing in many different forms.

Everyone who visits CHOCOLATE – York’s Sweet Story will learn the fine art of chocolate tasting and the intricate processes that cocoa beans go through to become a chocolate bar including grinding, conching and tempering.

Chocolate and confectionery is enjoyed by most people around the world, and research from Dr David Lewis at the Mind Lab shows that melt-in-the-mouth chocolate was four times more exciting and created a longer ‘buzz’ than a good kiss

Michael Constantine, general manager of CHOCOLATE – York’s Sweet Story, said: “I’m thrilled to announce that our opening date will be 31 March 2012, just in time for Easter, which wouldn’t be the same without CHOCOLATE!

"Building work is full steam ahead, the ‘CHOCOLATE’ team is growing and we’re all really looking forward to launch day.”

CHOCOLATE – York’s Sweet Story will bring all these stories together for the first time when it opens in King’s Square, York on 31 March 2012. For more information please visit or call 0845 498 9411.

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