An enduring affection for handmade confection


“Life is like a box of chocolates” said Forrest Gump. “You never know what you’re gonna get.” Not so in the case of Bakewell chocolatier, Holdsworth, which has built its reputation on quality chocolate, each and every time. Rebecca Erskine met with Genevieve Holdsworth, creative director and daughter of the company’s founder, to find out about exciting plans for the year ahead.

IT WAS in the Eighties when Belgian-style chocolates really started to capture hearts in the UK. With their exquisite packaging and high cocoa content, they were considered the ultimate in “good chocolate”. They were, unfortunately, not widely available to purchase here. Among their legion of British fans was local English and biology teacher, Barbara Holdsworth. When the Bakewell shop selling such continental delights sadly closed and she was unable to find an alternative supplier, it sparked an idea. Why not create her own chocolates?
Barbara set about researching couverture – the professional name for making chocolate – and creating her own basic recipe. The recipe may have been uncomplicated but the choice of ingredients was anything but. She determined to use only the finest ingredients, sourced locally and from around the world, to create unique chocolate experiences that deliver truly sensational flavours, tastes and textures.

Driven by her passion for chocolate – and adeptly balancing business with raising five children – Barbara started to put in place everything she needed
to establish her premium, hand-crafted chocolates business. First, she travelled to Switzerland to attend a chocolatier course and to learn how to blend the best possible ingredients. Second, she went to auction to buy nearly-new industrial mixers. Third, she acquired modest premises in Bakewell, rolled up her sleeves and set to work…