Manhattan, NY According to RIPCO Real Estate, Hotel Chocolat, a British-based chocolatier and cocoa grower, is expanding its presence to the U.S. via a 1,065 s/f lease at 441 Lexington Ave., between 44th and 45th Sts. The chocolatier’s stateside location opened December 10, 2018 and has a café component where customers will be able to sample a variety of chocolates. RIPCO’s Beth Rosen, executive vice president and Emily Simmonds, director, represented the landlord. Hotel Chocolat represented themselves.
“We know how significant it is for an international retailer to establish its presence here in New York City, especially one like Hotel Chocolat, which is extremely popular across the U.K. To that end, we knew that 441 Lexington Ave. would be a location where Hotel Chocolat could thrive immediately,” said Rosen. “The space is centrally located directly across from Grand Central, giving Hotel Chocolat visibility within one of the most well trafficked corridors of the city with the opportunity to capture an audience that includes tourists and commuters.”
Hotel Chocolat’s expansion to the U.S. represents a trend in specialty food offerings opening stand-alone storefront locations rather than selling their goods in larger format gourmet grocery stores; a stand-alone brick-and-mortar location allows for greater brand visibility. Venchi Chocolates is opening its U.S. location this week in Union Sq. and plans on expanding throughout the country a-la Hotel Chocolat.
“This is a hugely exciting time to be at the helm of Hotel Chocolat, making more people happy through the power of chocolate. As we evolve into international markets, our core “More Cocoa, Less Sweet” mantra gains traction across the globe. New Yorkers have gone wild for our peanut pralines, and we don’t blame them,” said Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and CEO of Hotel Chocolat.
Hotel Chocolat is a premium British chocolatier with a strong and distinctive brand. The business was founded in 1993 by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris. Hotel Chocolat sells its products online and through a network of stores in the UK and abroad and has a cocoa plantation and eco-hotel in Saint Lucia, offering complete cocoa immersion thorough tree-to-bar experiences and wellness treatments. They also have a flagship restaurant and cocoa roastery in London’s Borough Market: Rabot 1745.