Posted: 10/02/2015

Double celebration for Sussex chocolate maker

Cocoa LocoWest Sussex artisan chocolate maker Cocoa Loco is planning a series of 10 special offers and events online and at its Horsham shop starting in March, after its 10th anniversary coincided with winning a top regional food award.

The business was named Sussex Food Producer of the Year at the Sussex Food & Drink Awards at the end of January.

Cocoa Loco produces handmade bars, truffles, buttons and more from organic and Fairtrade ingredients at its ‘chocolate barn’ in West Grinstead.

It was founded by Sarah Payne, who began the business by baking brownies on her Aga and selling them on eBay.

The firm continues to produce brownies, flapjacks and cookies as well as chocolates, and last September opened a shop in Piries Place, Horsham, a few miles from its production unit.

It also sells to independents and premium outlets including John Lewis, Abel & Cole, Oxfam and Jamie Oliver, but not to mainstream supermarkets.

Started nine years ago, the Sussex Food & Drink Awards now attract 10,000 consumer votes.

Other winners this year included apple juice and cider-maker Wobblegate, which was named Drinks Producer of the Year, and Rushfields Farm Shop in Poynings, which won Sussex Food Shop of the Year.

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