David takes his clients through the whole chocolate journey; from setting up small bean-to-bar factories from scratch all the way through to helping more established businesses develop new ranges to grow sales.
And he doesn’t just stop there; he also hosts teambuilding workshops, events and even has his very own chocolate safari experience. Yes, that’s right, a chocolate safari where he leads groups of four to 20 people around places like Haiti, São Tomé, Bruges, Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels and Paris, talking them through the full cocoa experience.
It sounds magical. But what I wanted to know is how does someone get into this fascinating trade?
“After college, I worked in restaurants and hotels across Leeds,” David, who is originally from Pontefract, West Yorkshire but now lives in Wakefield, tells me.
“After a few years in the kitchen, I was tempted to join the glamorous world of sales and worked for some fantastic companies such as Unilever, Bidfood, Campbell’s Soup and Divine Chocolate.
“During my 11 years at Divine, I was lucky enough to meet many cocoa farmers. Ghana was one of these places and I would take customers to see the difference buying Fairtrade can make. Other times, the farmers would come to the UK and it was one of my roles to show them around the country meeting major retailers.”
He adds: “I would often be asked to talk about my experiences, and I realised that I enjoyed it so much and so decided to do just this full-time.”
Eight years ago David finally built up the courage to delve into this field alone and set up a business. To avoid any rocky roads in this new venture, he did his research and attended several specialist courses to help steer him in the right direction.
“Some of the best in the business were kind enough to teach me some of their secrets,” he boasts.