Xocolate was founded by Michelle Menhams in late 2018. Based in Carlisle, Cumbria the company is family-run and produces artisan hand-made chocolates.
Michelle's background is in baking, and for a time ran Little Bird Bakery, producing high quality cakes and bakes. Michelle caught the chocolate bug whilst undertaking a Diploma in Patisserie and Confectionary at Kendal College.
"I'd been making cakes and traybakes part time from home for around 3 years, and wanted to get a professional qualification in order to pursue a career as a pastry chef. During the course’s chocolate module I realised that I loved working with chocolate more than baking!".
Michelle knew from that point on that she wanted her own chocolate business. "Being able to work for myself, in charge of my own destiny and being creative everyday is a dream for most people, so now that my children are grown up and making their own way in the world, I’ve decided it’s ‘now or never’!", Michelle says.
The name Xocolate (pronounced zok-oh-latt) came from many weeks of brain-storming to find something unique. Michelle eventually sought inspiration from Mayan history, and arrived at making the South American word for chocolate, xocolotl, sound a bit more ‘English’. Suddenly the vision came together and the branding, which features cocoa bean pods as a motif, quickly followed. Within a matter of a few weeks Xocolate UK Ltd was formed, a unit was rented, and the first trade orders arrived.
Xocolate is family-run with Michelle's children helping out behind the scenes with various tasks. Michelle's partner Stuart oversees admin and social media duties.