Marimba – the Cocoa House for you!

We recently caught up with Brad, from Marimba – a Cocoa House providing independently made hot chocolate and other chocolate treats.

Brad has been with Marimba from day one, after mum and dad (Jackie and David) first thought to open the Cocoa House; helping source equipment and undertaking Barista training; and once they opened he and Jackie worked full time to get everything up and running. Now Jackie is head of production in our very own chocolate kitchens, whilst Brad looks after the wholesale business and is head of training.

Marimba in 2007 in Sudbury, Being locals, they thought Sudbury was a lovely market town to open their very own Cocoa House. Speaking of the history, Brad explains “My Dad, David, has never been a coffee lover and so saw a gap in the market to open a Cocoa House dedicated to offering a variety of top of the range hot chocolate. After a short while, we started to manufacture our own chocolates, just to serve in our own Cocoa House. After a successful trial we started to offer this out to other local, discerning cafes.”

Fast forward to the present day, and they have now expanded into a dedicated premises in Bury St Edmunds where they have a flakery kitchen for making their hot chocolate flakes, and a technical kitchen where they make truffles, bars of chocolate and a huge range of chocolate goodies. They have a wholesale telesales team and Barista training suite on the same site in Bury St Edmunds too.

That’s not all either, as Brad adds “As well as our Cocoa House in Sudbury, it was only natural that we would want to open a Chocolatier shop and hot chocolate take-away service in Bury St Edmunds; which will sell all of our wonderful truffles, thins, bars, buttons and other handmade, single origin, chocolates and our famous, award winning, Hot Chocolate Melts and Linton House Coffee. We plan to open this at the end of April, which will bring five new jobs to the town.”

During lockdown, they have also made major improvements to our website and online shop, expanding the ranges available and improving the functionality. It has been a real hit, and since launching the online shop and orders have increased a lot.

They have always loved this area of the country, as Suffolk is a beautiful, historic, county with beautiful market towns and they feel that both Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury showcase the best of Suffolk with their bustling markets; and Brad continues “Who doesn’t love chocolate!? There is something for everyone. Operating like we do offers a unique set of challenges; our own catering and retail operation, hand making chocolate, wholesaling. No day is the same. I’d also be doing the kitchen a disservice if I didn’t mention how much I love sampling their new recipes for our seasonal specials!”

As for the future, you can pop into the Sudbury Cocoa House again from April 12th and keep an eye out on the new Chocolatier shop in Bury St Edmunds, which will be open from the end of April. Once they are settled in there “who knows what will be next!” comments Brad.

Until those dates, you can order their wonderful chocolate direct to your door or to the door of a loved one with a personalised gift note included and you can do that on their website

He adds that it’s important to shop local, “Whether that is by popping into one of our shops when we are open, or by choosing to buy from us online instead of one of the internet giants; being an independent, family run, business we offer exceptional chocolate with exceptional service, and that is as every order for us is personal.” – so go and check them out and support your local businesses.

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