Choccy heaven awaits Christmas shoppers in Norwich

The team at Harris & James's Norwich chocolate cafe

The team at Harris & James in Norwich will be giving customers a warm welcome over the festive period - Credit: Harris & James

We all know chocolate is good at any time of year, but it definitely tastes better at Christmas. And if you’re looking for great locally-produced chocolate, you can’t do much better than Harris & James. 

The company is offering an array of delicious festive treats at its cafes across the region this Christmas – and that includes its Norwich chocolate cafe, which opened in April.  

Daniel Smith, commercial director, is excited to welcome customers into the company’s newest cafe during the festive season. “Everybody will be greeted with a nice warm welcome when they come through the door,” he says. “We've worked hard to form a team of great people, which we're really thrilled about.” 

Customers can enjoy a toastie or something sweet in the 48-seater upstairs cafe – including an indulgent triple layer cake slice – along with a warming cup of coffee or hot chocolate. 

“We have a range of three hot chocolates,” says Daniel. “The salted caramel hot chocolate is an absolute favourite of mine and is extremely popular with our customers as well.” 

Festive hampers are also available to purchase in the cafe – packed full of Harris & James’s artisanal chocolate, coffee and other seasonal treats. Customers can create their own bespoke hampers in store, too. 

Triple layer cake slices at Harris & James's chocolate cafe in Norwich

Customers can enjoy a triple layer cake slice at Harris & James's chocolate cafe in Norwich - Credit: Harris & James

The company has picked up 12 Great Taste Awards for its chocolate – seven in 2019 and another five in 2021 – and three for its coffee blends.

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But it isn’t just the flavour of its products that set them apart. Ever since it started roasting coffee in 2013 – at Twyford’s Cafe in Beccles (opened in 1996) – the family-owned business has put sustainability first.

Harris & James ethically sources the finest-quality organic cacao beans while safeguarding the partnerships with cacao farmers and co-operatives around the world. The company’s mantra is ‘more quality cacao, less sugar’, and it keeps to this by sourcing the very best beans and making them the main ingredient, even in milk and white chocolate. 

The process of turning the cacao into chocolate takes place on home soil, using local ingredients. “Our real point of difference is that we actually make the chocolate from scratch ourselves in Beccles,” says Daniel. "We buy the raw cacao beans and we sort those beans and then roast them. Then we grind the cacao nibs and combine it with British sugar and British milk powder, if we’re making milk chocolate. If not, we make dark chocolate, which is vegan.”  

The 48-seater upstairs cafe at Harris & James in Norwich

Tuck into a toastie or cake with a hot drink in the 48-seater upstairs cafe - Credit: Harris & James

Harris & James also minimises its use of single-use plastic, wherever possible. “Our 86-gram chocolate bars are wrapped in a fully-compostable cardboard sleeve,” says Daniel. “And then the chocolate bar inside is wrapped in either a compostable material or a soft, recyclable plastic.”  

Along with its Norwich and Beccles stores, Harris & James also has shops in Aldeburgh, Southwold, Sheringham and Holt. And there may be more openings on the horizon soon. 

“We are on the lookout for other coastal locations in Norfolk and Suffolk,” says Daniel. “We would love to expand, create more job opportunities, help local economies and support tourism. That’s really important to us.”  
 

Harris & James’s Christmas all butter shortbread biscuits, available in four flavours

Harris & James’s Christmas all butter shortbread biscuits are available in four flavours - Credit: Harris & James

Top Christmas Gifts from Harris & James  
 
Harris & James is offering a selection of Christmas gift boxes and hampers for chocolate and coffee lovers, available in store or online.  


Christmas All Butter Shortbread Biscuits  

Harris & James’s Christmas all butter shortbread biscuits are available in four flavours: milk chocolate, chocolate orange, dark chocolate, and Adnams Rye Malt with dark chocolate.  
 
£9.95 / £11.99 (Adnams Rye Malt) 

Large Award-Winning Christmas Hamper 
 
This hamper includes Harris & James’s chocolate orange shortbread biscuits; its intense, dark, salted caramel coffee and hazeleta praline chocolate bars; and its hot chocolate and house blend ground coffee. 

£39.95 

Large Luxury Christmas Vegan Foodie Hamper 
 
This hamper includes four varieties of Harris & James’s dark chocolate bar, along with its dark hot chocolate, coffee stout and house blend ground coffee. 

£37.95