The Cocoa Tree Shop in Pittenweem has outgrown its current facilities and is looking to expand its production facilities in a major move.
The company has already purchased a new building in Anstruther, but now it has secured formal planning permission to convert it into the chocolate production space it needs.
The industrial unit at the Old Golf Club on Factory Station Road will now become the company’s primary production space.
“The production of chocolates, shop, servicing of online orders, and café currently all operate out of 9 High Street, Pittenweem but have outgrown their premises,” a planning statement explained.
“The proposed move of the chocolate production to Unit 4 will allow more space for the shop and café in Pittenweem while providing more appropriate spaces for chocolate production. The owner of The Cocoa Tree Shop Ltd, Sophie Latinis, is passionate about showcasing fair trade, locally sourced, responsibly grown products.”
The Factory Station Road unit was most recently used as a storage facility for a local carpet supplier with the office spaces being used by a financial advisor and it is currently classified by the council as storage, workshop and office space.
The Cocoa Tree Shop Ltd bought the unit with intentions to “completely overhaul it for chocolate production.”
The approved plans have changed the building’s use – allowing for food preparation and cold food takeaway. They also include plans for a new toilet and accessibility ramp.
The Cocoa Tree Shop has said chocolate production will take place on a flexible timetable between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
“In addition to producing chocolates it is proposed to incorporate an informal space for talks, tastings and workshops for children, adults and other chocolatiers, with viewing panels allowing visitors to see chocolate being made in the adjacent spaces,” a planning statement said.
Chocolate making workshops would be available twice a week between 8am and 10pm. Tastings would be available twice a week between 2pm and 10pm and evening talks/tastings would be held from 6pm to 10pm.
“It is also proposed to make and sell specialty sorbets, waffles and hot chocolate, for takeaway only, using an existing window opening, with a new window, as a serving hatch,” planning papers said.
It is anticipated that the opening hours for the takeaway counter will be midday to 2pm Monday to Friday, and midday to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Cocoa Tree Shop Ltd was established in 2007 and has been making fine specialty chocolates under the name The Pittenweem Chocolate Company since 2012.
Following planning permission from the council, the chocolate company will be able to make the move sometime within the next three years.
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