The hidden stories behind Harrogate’s newest chocolate shop
Last updated Mar 27, 2024

The Stray Ferret goes behind the scenes to discover more about brands and businesses in Harrogate and the surrounding areas.

The first insider story is Neuhaus, a chocolatier that’s recently opened in Harrogate.

Jean Neuhaus was a pharmacist who covered his medicines with chocolate. 

Studying medicine in Grenoble, Jean Neuhaus’ chosen career path was unfortunately not to be – mainly because he could not bear the sight of blood – but all was not lost as he could implement his skills elsewhere.

After moving to Brussels in 1857, he turned his hand to opening a pharmacy in the prestigious Queen’s Gallery where he covered his medicines with a fine layer of chocolate to make them more appealing for the sick to take them.

This method of covering medicine in chocolate is still known, and sometimes still used, in Belgium today.

When visiting the Harrogate store, located at 5 James Street, the knowledgeable store assistant Olivia de Lame recounted tales of her grandma who used to give her a cod liver oil vitamin and covered it in chocolate, calling it ‘the Neuhaus method’ so that she would take it.

She has fond memories of this, and recounts how even though 166 years have passed, this method is still well-known and sometimes used in Belgium today.

(Neuhaus Factory)

Only four people in the world know the recipe and how to make the Manon Sucre.

After a shortage of cocoa beans post-World War II, it was difficult to make chocolate so the ladies who worked in the factory thought about how they could invent an alternative sweet treat.

They had plenty of fresh cream, sugar and pecan nuts at their disposal, so after many attempts, they settled on a recipe named the Manon Sucre, which has never disappeared from Neuhaus’ offering since, even after cocoa beans came back into circulation. There are two varieties: the Manon Sucre Vanilla and Manon Sucre Café.

Neuhaus has impressive chocolate installations.

If you’ve walked past the Harrogate store, you might have already seen the giant chocolate egg gracing its windows ahead of Easter.

This was made in Belgium using the company’s 3D chocolate printer, then carefully transported to Harrogate, and put in place by the store’s staff.

(Will Claydon, Neuhaus)

The installations will change every couple of months – keep your eyes peeled for next one. And if you’re travelling down to London any time soon, pay a visit to the Covent Garden store that features a huge Big Ben chocolate statue.

Some of the chocolates are named after members of the Belgium royal family.

Neuhaus is a Belgian Royal Warrant Holder and has created two chocolates to honour the King and Queen of Belgium, Philippe and Mathilde.

Neuhaus offers an ‘Insider Club’.

This gives people the opportunity to sample the latest chocolates and new collections each month on a complimentary and commitment-free basis, as well as receiving a free box of chocolates on your birthday – all you need to do is sign up in store or online.

5 James Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QS, click here for more stories.

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