The White Rabbit team are absolutely bursting with excitement about our latest big news – we are expanding with a second outlet in Hull’s Paragon Arcade!
Part of a major re-development of the historic arcade being undertaken by the Allenby Commercial Ltd property development company, our new shop will eventually feature a unique ‘Hull blend’ of delicious chocolate treats.
We also have plans to add a micro kitchen, desserterie and workshop space – serving hot chocolates and chocolate desserts and hosting social events – in the new year.
And what’s more, we are recruiting for this ambitious new venture. We’re looking for a new Paragon Store Manager to join the two additional members of staff we have already employed for the shop, so please do send us your CV if you think you might fit the bill.
Healthy business growth
This marks the latest leg of an ongoing expansion for our family business, which was originally established 14 years ago by former teacher Sally Hawkes and is now run by son Ed Hawkes and daughter Amy Fenner. Two years ago, we added our hugely successful chocolate café to our Beverley shop, and we have seen trade build dramatically ever since.
Managing Director Ed Hawkes said: “Opening the Beverley café was the natural next step for us in the town. It was a brave move but we’ve been overwhelmed by how popular it’s become, with people travelling from across Yorkshire and beyond to visit us.
“As a result, we’ve been hoping to build on this demand for a while, by opening another outlet, but wanted to wait until we found the perfect venue.
“When we were approached by the Allenby Commercial team about their plans for Paragon Arcade, we knew straightaway that this was it.”
Magical chocolate shop
The new White Rabbit outlet will be in Unit 6 of Paragon Arcade, next door to Two Gingers Coffee House, and will offer our popular range of exquisite chocolates, with plans to add a unique Hull blend to the mix in 2019. The site is currently undergoing a makeover to transform it into everyone’s vision of a magical chocolate shop ready for the Christmas build-up, in true White Rabbit style.
“The arcade is going to have all the magic of a Victorian shopping street, it will look beautiful and it’s the perfect home for us,” added Ed.
“We’re very excited about the move and planning to make it look very festive as you’d expect from a traditional chocolate shop in the run-up to Christmas.”
Their aspiration is to eventually produce much of the Hull shop’s chocolate on site in authentic, traditional chocolatier-style.
The shop will open its doors on Thursday 8 November, with an official opening event on Friday 17 November, featuring entertainment, giveaways, chocolate tasting and discount. Any customers visiting the store should quote Whiterabbit2 to enjoy your special 10 per cent off until 30 November.
Charlie Allenby, Allenby Commercial’s Contracts Manager, said: “As soon as we acquired Paragon Arcade in 2017 we embarked on a programme of improvements including a major renovation scheme and seven-days-a-week opening, and that continues.
“A priority was to open up the first floor, much of which had not been used for years, and White Rabbit has joined other recent arrivals Marla’s Deli and 80 Days Bier Markt in making the most of that.
“Occupancy is at 80 per cent and only the units undergoing refurbishment are vacant. They will become available in a few months and are already attracting interest. At a time when we are seeing almost daily reports of the pressures facing major retailers we are working hard to promote independent businesses which have character and creativity and want to work in an environment which is collaborative rather than competitive.”
On the culinary map
White Rabbit are on a mission to put East Yorkshire on the map for culinary excellence, and we have won no less than 17 Great Taste Awards for our truffles and hot drinks, including a Great Taste Top 50 Foods Award in 2014, and two awards from the Academy of Chocolate. Our blackcurrant and juniper truffle earned a prestigious 3 Star Great Taste Award and Golden Fork nomination in 2014 and continues to be our most popular flavour. We also boast a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
Founder, Master Chocolatier Sally, trained at some of the most prestigious chocolate houses in the world to perfect her craft, including the Valrhona School in Burgundy, Westminster College in London and an internship at Vancouver’s Ecole Chocolat. Amy, who is gifted with a very sensitive palate, is carrying on that mantel, ably helped by talented team members like second Master Chocolatier Kathy Bates, who specialises in the decoration and colour work which make White Rabbit’s chocolate creations look so distinctive and beautiful.
Visit White Rabbit Chocolatiers at 14-16 Dyer Lane, Beverley; Paragon Arcade, Hull; or visit our online shop.