Sweet! York business wins Dragon’s Den star as a mentor

Deborah Meaden (left) with Sophie Jewett of York Cocoa House. Photograph: York Cocoa House on Twitter

To coincide rather nicely with Chocolate Week, York Cocoa House has beaten national competition to win business mentoring from Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.

The Blake Street business was today (October 15) crowned the national winner of the Local Business Accelerators scheme.

Winning through against 2,000 businesses from across the country to seize the title, owner Sophie Jewett has now invited Deborah Meaden to visit the Cocoa House, which sells and makes chocolates as well as running workshops and other choccy-themed events.

After being named a regional winner of the Local Business Accelerator scheme earlier this year, the Cocoa House’s was awarded a free local newspaper advertising campaign with the York Press. This generated an impressive further £30,000 in workshops and additional sales.

“The initiative provides a shot in the arm for local newspapers, demonstrating their importance and the role they play across the country,” said Deborah, who led the judging panel for the initiative.

“The York Cocoa House is a very worthy winner and I look forward to working closely with Sophie and her team to help develop the business further.”

The businesses were judged on criteria such as the originality of their business, their ability to fend off competition, their future prospects and their positive impact upon the local community.

Sophie only opened the Cocoa House two years ago, selling chocolate products and hosting chocolate workshops, after a life long passion for the sweet stuff.