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Hotel Chocolat applies for signs at new Bishop's Stortford store

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Hotel Chocolat has confirmed its intention to move to Bishop's Stortford with a planning application to advertise its new Jackson Square store.

The British chocolatier and cocoa grower, which has more than 80 shops in the UK, is taking on the former Scott Sports premises, between phone shop Three and Accessorize, which front onto Potter Street. It hopes to open in early October.

The company, which began as an early internet retailer in 1993, has asked East Herts Council for planning permission to install an internally illuminated fascia sign and an internally illuminated projecting sign.

A typical Hotel Chocolat shopfront (16126051)
A typical Hotel Chocolat shopfront (16126051)

The confectioner was founded by entrepreneurs Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris. In 1998 they created The Chocolate Tasting Club, sending sweet selections to subscribers each month, before opening the first ever Hotel Chocolat shop in north London in 2004.

Their dream of becoming cocoa farmers was realised in 2006 when they bought the 250-year-old Rabot Estate in St Lucia.

Since then they have diversified with a café in London's Borough Market, the Rabot 1745 restaurant in London, and Boucan, a luxury hotel, restaurant and spa in St Lucia.

The brand, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2016, also includes The School of Chocolate at Cocoa Vaults in Covent Garden, a cookbook called A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate and a mobile phone text gifting service.

This year it featured in a two-part Channel 5 documentary called Chocolate Dreams – Inside Hotel Chocolat.

The chain's arrival is part of Jackson Square's latest upgrade. The precinct, first developed in 1972 and extended in 2007, underwent a £5.5m revamp in 2017 to provide a total of 44 units.

Scott Sports, an Intersport franchise, shut on Saturday June 22.

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