16th December 2017
'Tis the season...to be jolly busy!
Santa’s elves have no doubt been incredibly busy this season, organising everyone’s festive gifts, and so have the White Rabbit team!
Our online order book has been full to bursting, and we’ve been fortunate to have a constant stream of customers visiting the shop to choose some seasonal treats or take a precious bit of time out from the stresses and strains of Christmas shopping in our cosy café.
Our chocolatiers Sally Hawkes and daughter Amy have been making an incredible 6,000 handmade truffles per week to satisfy this demand - twice as many as last year, not to mention popular festive novelties like our 'Polar Pals' polar bear and seal duo and our chocolate coal-filled Santa's Boot.
The Beverley Festival of Christmas saw thousands of visitors flock to the town’s annual Victorian-style one-day market, with many descending on White Rabbit. It really was a record-popping weekend for us at both the shop and the café. We were rushed off our feet but everyone was still smiling at the end of the day!
In fact, it’s been a record-breaking year for us – the café has just celebrated its first anniversary, shop sales have doubled year-on-year, and we’re now receiving online orders from across the UK, including corporate clients such as a well-known hotel chain plus a national civil service department.
Christmas comes but once a year
This festive season we focused on producing an enticing range of edible presents to suit all ages and budgets. “We really enjoyed creating a special selection of hand-made festive-themed goods and it’s wonderful to see them literally flying off the shelves,” said our Business Manager Ed Hawkes. “The Santa Bunny with his little red hat has been a big hit, as have the beautifully-decorated baubles, and the shiny Santa Boots with their black sugar-coated lumps of honeycomb coal.
“Our edible spoons and hot chocolate sticks, Christmas cats and dogs and packs of Cheeky Chaps chocolate gingerbread characters, have all proved really popular. It’s great to see people are enjoying our innovative creations.”
The menu at the White Rabbit café has also been going down a storm, with the sumptuous Georgian hot chocolate drink becoming a particular customer favourite this Christmas. Ed added: “Our Georgian hot chocolate has a spiced flavour, which is perhaps why it’s popular at this time of year. Our café’s salted caramel brownie remains a big hit too, and rightly so as I do believe it is one of the best in the country.”
Chocolate box orders have been coming in thick and fast in the run up to the big day, too, with the team having to turn around a mammoth request from one government department for 250 sets of our large boxes! “I’m not sure about it being like a military operation,” joked Ed, “it’s more like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! In all seriousness, the team have been absolutely fantastic and have worked their socks off, I’m extremely grateful to them.”
We were really pleased to welcome members of the Jorvik Viking Centre staff to Dyer Lane recently, too, for a team-building session. Eighteen staff from the famous York visitor attraction joined us for a morning of chocolate-making fun.
Ed said: “We split them into two teams, with each group getting the chance to both create an imaginative batch of treats and enjoy a chocolate party. It’s all great fun, especially as we judge their efforts and present an award to the winning team.”
This is a bespoke service we can offer to businesses and corporate clients for groups of up to about 22 people, and anyone interested in organising an event can just get in touch via (01482) 679325 or email us to discuss their needs.
New Year’s resolutions
So, what’s in store for White Rabbit during 2018? “We’ve had a fabulous year, better than we could have ever expected, and I’ve got a great feeling about the next 12 months,” said Ed. “The team is brimming with ideas, we’d like to enter a few more awards and hope to work with more talented local partners. We’d also like to thank all our customers and suppliers, and wish them a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Given how busy our business now is, and our plans to grow further in the future, we are looking to recruit more talented team members with a passion for chocolate. We have up to five new full and part-time vacancies – growing our team by more than 50%.
If you’re reading this and think you could be one of those people, just give us a call on (01482) 679325 or email us.
The White Rabbit Chocolatiers shop and café at 14-16 Dyer Lane, Beverley, will be open as usual throughout the holiday period, excepting Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.