Luxury chocolate company in a position to milk rewards after Growth Hub support

A Derbyshire-based luxury chocolate manufacturer used the expertise of Sheffield City Region Growth Hub to unpick the complex network of business support, and set it up to reap the rewards of an increased demand for their products.

Holdsworth Chocolates, a fourth-generation, family-owned business, approached the Growth Hub looking for help to accelerate its growth after struggling to identify the correct business support for them from the myriad of programmes and grants available across a range of sectors, geographies and business programmes.

The company had experienced rapid growth in the last three years. Working alongside Darren Buxton, one of the Growth Hub’s Business Growth Specialists, the chocolatier sought improvements to its systems and processes, which were no longer fit for purpose.

Through the Growth Hub Enhancement Project, Holdsworth Chocolates received a grant towards business consultancy. Using Darren’s expertise, the consultancy project gave them a new perspective on costings and margins, giving them a true understanding of the value of their production and allowing them to develop and implement a sales pricing model and performance metrics.

The Growth Hub Enhancement Project has enabled the chocolatier, whose products are stocked in high-end retailers such as John Lewis, Selfridges and Harrods, to make better informed business decisions, and become more streamlined and more profitable.

With Darren’s help, Holdsworth Chocolates also submitted a successful application to FEAST –  a programme of business support aimed at food and drink manufacturers in Derbyshire – for a grant of around £7,000 towards two new equipment, including two new food mixers.

David Sharples. Managing Director, said: “It has been fantastic. Any offer of help with business is always welcome, but working with the Growth Hub and the Business Growth Specialists provides a targeted level of support that really makes a difference.

“Darren pointed us in the right direction and focused our attention, which has resulted in us making necessary changes to the business which we would have otherwise ignored.”

Find out more about Holdsworth Chocolates.

To find out about the support available and relevant to your business goals, please contact the Growth Hub’s Gateway team on 03330 00 00 39 or send them an email.

The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub Enhancement Project is receiving up to £2.7m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit