In the heart of Sydney, nestled along the scenic harbour, lies the sweet haven of Coco Chocolate.
The award-winning local artisan chocolate brand is about to celebrate 20 years of crafting exquisite chocolate, as well as 13 years of imparting the art of chocolate making at its Sydney Chocolate School.
And this illustrious journey is a testament to the passion and dedication of founder Rebecca Knights.
“Reaching 20 years is a great milestone for us. All of the team at both Coco Chocolate and The Sydney Chocolate School are so proud to celebrate 20 years. It means our boutique chocolate and the classes we run are loved by the public, and that we have a niche brand with loyal customers,” says Rebecca.
Coco Chocolate has been a pioneer in creating delectable treats using organic, ethically-sourced chocolate couverture.
The dedication to only using the finest of ingredients is evident in every bite – cacao, fruits, nuts, liqueurs and Herbies spices & peppers – and the impeccable craftsmanship highlights Rebecca’s expertise.
She trained as a chocolatier at the prestigious Valrhona school in France. Then after a decade in the UK, crafting chocolates for the likes of Harvey Nichols, Rebecca returned home to Sydney and launched Coco Chocolate as well as the accompanying Sydney Chocolate School in 2004 and 2011 respectively.
The Coco Chocolate flagship store in Kirribilli is a French-inspired sanctuary, where customers can indulge in the finest handcrafted chocolates.
“It’s a treasure of a store where people love to come for a full sensory experience; the chocolates, the DeGournay curtains, the chandelier made of glass candy canes and French cups,” Rebecca describes.
Whereas the Sydney Chocolate School, located in Headland Park in Mosman, has become a hub for aspiring chocolatiers; over 15,000 people have learnt how to make chocolate at the Mosman studio. Even a famous singer-songwriter…
“Adele had a private chocolate making party with us when [she was] on tour!”
Despite the challenges posed a few years ago by the COVID-19 pandemic, Coco Chocolate adapted by enhancing its online presence. And while Rebecca admits the Sydney Chocolate School struggled at first, it ultimately prevailed too.
“Coco Chocolate was fine during COVID as we put great effort into our online shopping but it was hard with social distancing laws for the school.
“We had to really work hard to make online courses and send tasting packs for students to work with, which now, through adversity, is another class we can run for customers unable to come to Mosman and has a five star review,” Rebecca proudly explains.
Now, both establishments are set to celebrate Coco Chocolate’s 20th birthday; to mark the special occasion, Coco Chocolate and The Sydney Chocolate School have planned special treats for their customers.
“There will be free samples for all coming in store and new chocolate flavours [will be released].
“We are also creating birthday celebration classes where you can celebrate your own birthday with up to 40 people making chocolate. And most importantly – all the chocolate you make, you can take home,” exclaims Rebecca.
Obviously, Rebecca is delighted about Coco Chocolate achieving two decades of success, but after the celebrations, she is hoping to move on.
“I am very proud to have made 20 years and now excited to hand over the reins to a new owner in the future to continue the growth,” she says.
“My husband has retired, so after 20 years, he would now like me to join him!”
Coco Chocolate celebrates 20 years on June 1, 2024.