Whitakers Chocolates based in Skipton, Yorkshire, founded by John and Rebecca Whitaker in 1889 have grown through five generations to become one of the UK’s leading chocolate manufacturers. Today they are one of very few family owned and managed chocolate companies in the UK and have secured a position as finalists for the 2019 Family business awards.
In this manufacturer close up we talk to Jemma Backhouse, Quality Assurance Manager at Whitakers, to gain some insight into the Whitakers operation.
Tell us about Whitakers Chocolates
Whitakers is celebrating a major milestone of being established for 130 years and that also falls alongside our being shortlisted as finalists for the 10th annual family business awards this year so there is a lot to celebrate and be proud of.
Whitakers is also proud of its UK heritage. We don’t process the chocolate here and have it delivered in liquid form for manufacture. Even though a lot of the ingredients that we use to manufacture our chocolates can be sourced globally, we buy in as many ingredients as we can from within the UK which helps support the local economy.
What products do you have in your range?
Whitakers makes all kinds of chocolates. Not just for our own retail and catering brands, but also for many other private brands and we even take corporate requests.
Our range of products is varied. We make dark and milk chocolate in bars, as well as boxes of crisps, wafer thins, truffles, fondant creams and honeycomb bites in a wide variety of flavours. My personal favourite are the orange fondant creams and the rose fondant creams. We also manufacture fudge on site and all of our products can be bought by wholesalers, retailers and consumers directly from us.
What does Whitakers do to stand out in the market?
Firstly, we are very proud of our range of personalised products. We offer a wide variety of personalisation options for all of our customers wether it’s a personal message on a chocolate bar or box for fathers or mothers day, personalised chocolates for your wedding day or event to individually wrapped hotel chocolates with a variety of coloured foils and wrappers to chose from all available in different flavours. We can even brand the chocolates for our corporate customers by printing their logo straight onto the wrappers so those who buy personalised products from us have lots of creative control.
We make Kosher chocolate on occasion upon request and Whitakers Dark Chocolate Fondant Creams, Dark Chocolate Wafers & Dark Chocolate Honeycomb Bites are now registered with the Vegan Society which allows us to offer our products to a broader market of consumers with dietary needs.
How does Erudus help the business?
Erudus is very easy to use. Everything we have on there has been on there for years. We are finding more and more customers want you to have it as well so they can see all the products that are available to them because it’s handy to have everything in one place.