Our Story

A Legacy of Chocolate Craftsmanship


John and Rebecca Whitaker, with little Reg and Ida's eager help, opened their charming grocery and draper’s shop in Skipton. Amidst family warmth and cheerful chats with customers, the delightful legacy of Whitakers Chocolates sweetly unfolded


Reg and Ida thrived in their parents' shop; Reg delivering goods, Ida, the creative spark. After mastering bakery arts in Morecambe, Ida's passion for chocolate blossomed. The shop transformed into a bakery and chocolatier, famed for Ida's exquisite Wedding Cakes and secret chocolate recipes, still cherished in our fudge and chocolates today!


The family's success soared, prompting a move to a spacious Skipton high street spot. They unveiled a splendid bakery and confectionery, with a cosy upstairs café where delights like Ida's cakes and truffles charmed patrons. The bustling shop and café led to a new venture: a dedicated bakery built within their Skipton home's grounds to meet the ever-growing demand.


Whitakers Chocolates buzzed with growth; Ida's baking and chocolatier skills flourished, while Reg delivered treats across Yorkshire. Skipton's bakery thrived, becoming a local employment hub. Amidst the hustle, love bloomed between Reg and bakery employee Claire Smith. Their romance led to marriage and the joy of four children: John, Fred, Peter, and Susan, adding more sweetness to the Whitaker family story


The War Years...

As World War 2 unfolded from 1939, it reshaped lives and closed countless establishments. Yet, Whitakers Chocolates endured, reopening in 1945 amidst a transformed world. In these altered times, Ida embraced a new love for Art and Antiques, inaugurating her own venture on Skipton High Street.

Meanwhile, Reg and Claire, bound by love and ambition, took the helm of the family's bakery, infusing it with their joint passion until Reg's untimely departure. But Claire's solitude was short-lived; her eldest, John, at 19, stepped in to help steer Whitakers, occasionally joined by Ida's guiding presence


A year tinged with sorrow touched the Whitaker family.

Ida Whitaker, a beacon of baking and chocolate artistry, left a profound legacy. Her passion, innovation, and creative spirit shaped Whitakers Chocolates into what it is today, her memory cherished as a true Whitaker hero. Her recipes continue to be the heart of our chocolates, a sweet tribute to her lasting influence


John Whitaker, sharing Ida's fervent passion for chocolate (and a keen interest in cars!), devoted himself to expanding the chocolate division with his mother Claire. Recognising an untapped market, John envisioned supplying exquisite chocolates to pubs, restaurants, hotels, and retail outlets. In a pivotal move, he convinced Claire to establish Whitakers Chocolatiers (Skipton) Limited, marking a new chapter in the family's sweet legacy


The demand for Whitakers Chocolates soared, outpacing production and overshadowing the bakery aspect. John and Claire, foreseeing a chocolaty future, embarked on expanding the factory, a decision that transformed their cherished rose garden into a hub of chocolate creation. Embracing progress, John invested in advanced German machinery, a bold move that revolutionised Whitakers Chocolates. 

This innovation birthed the iconic after-dinner mint chocolate, the original Mint Chocolate Wafer Thin. Its delicate crispness became a sensation, delighting palates across the UK and beyond, and securing its spot as the ultimate after-dinner indulgence in over 25 countries worldwide


Following the loss of his dear mother, John helmed the family business solo, steering Whitakers Chocolates to global recognition. By then, John, married with three children, William, James, and Sally, saw the family tradition continue when his eldest, William, came aboard in 1980. Sharing his father's profound passion for chocolate, William was eager to join forces with John, propelling the business to new heights and continuing the Whitaker legacy of confectionery excellence


John and William, united by their chocolate devotion, were a dynamic duo in the confectionery realm, constantly innovating and crafting new chocolate wonders. Recognising a niche for foil-wrapped chocolates, they aspired to become pioneers in individual chocolate delights. With their ever-expanding team, they sourced the finest machinery, swiftly turning the dream of foil-wrapped chocolates into reality. Their introduction of foiled fondant creams, truffles, and wrapped chocolate Neapolitans set new industry standards. Today, a testament to their vision, over 50% of Whitakers' products, both retail and wholesale, are elegantly foiled, continuing the tradition of innovation and excellence


The Whitaker family force grows stronger as William's wife, Gemma, joins the team, infusing it with her extensive marketing and sales expertise. The year 2019 heralds a transformative era for Whitakers, with Gemma spearheading a comprehensive brand makeover. This includes a fresh logo and brand style, alongside an array of innovative products poised to enhance Whitakers' retail presence, all under Gemma's adept guidance


Whitakers embraced innovation, investing in cutting-edge machinery and processes to introduce crystallised ginger, flow wrap fondant creams, and hexagonal gift boxes. Seasonal honeycomb crisps flavours also debuted, paving our way into exciting new markets. The future is brimming with possibilities all over the world!

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