Chantal Coady, the founder of Rococo Chocolates, did not start out in the world of chocolate. Chantal graduated from Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts with a Textile Design degree in 1981. She always had a love for chocolate and, from what she says, she had recurring dreams about being in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as an active participant. Her next stop? The job in the famous confectionery department of Harrod’s department store which fueled the fire for her dream for everyone to enjoy the finest chocolates in the world. She then went on to take a business class and her mother secured a loan for her with
her house to open Rococo Chocolates. Rococo Chocolates became a reality in 1983. Chantal did not know how to make chocolates. Her idea was to buy other people’s chocolate and sell them in her shop. She knew what good chocolate was and she only wanted to sell the best. None of the sugary violet and rose creams so popular in Britain would be sold in her shop. She sold chocolates from small chocolate makers and sugared almonds found at a trade show in Cologne. She opened just before the Easter holiday with the help of family, friends and generous suppliers. Chantal grew into her business and became part of the neighborhood. Within a decade, Rococo would be producing its own chocolates made in the kitchen at Chantal’s home with the help of another chocolate maker. Shortly after that, Rococo would seek certification for their organic, artisan chocolate bars.
The year 2002 brought the attention of the Grenada Chocolate Company to Rococo Chocolates. Chantal loved the Grenada Chocolate Company’s chocolate bars and visited the island of Grenada for the filming of a chocolate documentary by Eli Peleg. The little island of Grenada was hit with two hurricanes within a year. TheTheobroma cacao was completely devastated. In honor of the island and The Grenada Chocolate Company, Rococo Chocolates created a bar made from both their own organic chocolate and The Grenada Chocolate Company’s chocolate forming a bar called the
“Hurricane Emily” chocolate bar. Proceeds from the bar went to the relief fund to aid the island to rebuild. Years later, a small cocoa farm came up for sale and a partnership formed between The Grenada Chocolate Company and Rococo Chocolates. The year is 2007 and the agreement is to produce fairly trade, ethical chocolate. They named the cocoa farm GROCOCO and became part of The Grenada Organic Farmers’ Cooperative. This farm supplies 100% of its organic Trinitario beans to The Grenada Chocolate Company where they make their own chocolate bars. All of Rococo Chocolate’s Organic House Blend is made from a mixing of their beans with the Grococo beans. In 2008, Chantal Coady was awarded the special prize for “Changing the Way People Feel About Chocolate” by the Academy of Chocolate.
Rococo Chocolate’s first shop opened in March of 1983 on King’s Road in Chelsea. It was an exciting new beginning for a true chocolate lover. Chantal’s goal was to make people excited about real chocolate and not the type of chocolate candy that everyone grew up eating. The shop looks like you stepped into a child’s picture book full of walls spread with pink icing and she had a sugar chandelier made especially for the store, mixed it with 18th century elegance and a sort of funkiness that could only come from Chantal’s artistic background. In 1986, she started the Campaign for Real Chocolate teaching people the difference between sugar laden chocolate candy and the real thing. As the campaign grew, The Chocolate Societywas launched with both Chantal and Nicola Porter at the helm. The British press gave attention to their cause and the British became aware of what it meant to eat real chocolate.
Rococo Chocolate’s new flagship store open in December 2007 and it sitting on Motcomb Street in the Belgravia neighborhood. In the back of the shop, you will find yourself stepping back into another world. Awaiting you sits a colorful Moorish courtyard to sit and pass time with friends or just enjoy a good book with your own steaming mug of hot chocolate. If that was not enough, you can excite your inner child by viewing the luscious chocolate bars and truffles being created through the viewing window. Want Rococo to host a party for you? They have a special place that seems it was designed with you in mind.
The Marylebone is the newest of the three shops. The Rococo Chocolate shop seems to be quite satisfied sitting among an elegant mixture of restaurants and specialty food shops on High Street continuing to bring the highest quality of chocolate mixed with a lot of whimsy and humor to their customers.
Rococo Chocolates also offer chocolate making classes to entice your inner child, caters, and hosts parties for both children and adults. Chantal Coady is the author of five books on chocolate including Chocolate: The Food of the Gods,Real Chocolate, The Chocolate Companion, The Connoisseur’s Guide to Chocolate: Discover the World’s Finest Chocolates, and Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate.