Mocha Chocolate Shop in Richmond are the 2018 winners of the David Doorbar Award for Innovation and Excellence in Retail. The Award is run each year in David’s memory by the Original Richmond Business and Tourism Association, of which David was Treasurer for many years.
Dennis and Elizabeth Graves opened their shop in Trinity Church Square, Richmond in 2013 - Dennis having previously been a builder and Elizabeth an HR Manager. They had been looking for a shop, and, whilst on holiday in the town, they saw what they thought would be the prefect spot for a chocolatiers – north facing premises (so the chocolate doesn’t get too hot) and good Market Place location.
Dennis enrolled on a chocolate making course and quickly learned the art of making his own chocolate. Dennis enthused, “ Our decision to explore chocolate making was borne out of curiosity – would these flavours work together? Why isn’t there a chocolate with this filling? Couldn’t this be made with real ingredients rather than flavourings?”
As the business has expanded they have opened a small seating area where homemade cakes and fabulous hot chocolates, coffees and mochas are enjoyed.
Mocha received some great accolades from the people who nominated them. Amongst these were, “Friendly. Great service. Super merchandise. Everything that makes Richmond GREAT.” “The shop front is welcoming, the interior is clean, bright and comfortable. The food and drink is of the highest quality and delicious. The staff are very friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming.” “A fabulous little artisan shop, with delectable handmade chocolates. Always a friendly welcome from the lovely staff. The added bonus is they welcome dogs. Mine won't let me walk past!” and “A true gem. From the visual impact to the warm welcome and service once inside it really is a business to leave lasting positive memories with visitors and locals alike.”
Last year’s winners, Neeps and Tatties, who presented the award to Mocha said, “‘We were really pleased to have been asked to present the David Doorbar Award to our friends at Mocha. After winning the award last year, we understand what a privilege it is to be awarded the title, inspired by the hardwork, customer care and enthusiasm for businesses in Richmond provided by David Doorbar. We extend our Congratulations to Dennis & Elizabeth of Mocha.”
Elizabeth Graves is thrilled to have won the award; “Thank you so much to our lovely customers who took the time to vote for us. We believe it is personal service and a positive customer experience that will ensure high streets (and market places!) survive and Richmond excels in this. We have many great independent businesses. Thank you also to Original Richmond Business and Tourism Association – a great support and advocate for local businesses.”
Chair of the Association, Marcia McLuckie, gave praise to the people who run Mocha; “Dennis and Elizabeth work hard to offer their customers the best quality and the best service. They have the support of lovely staff and together they offer a welcoming business for locals and visitors. They are a credit to the town, as are so many of the other of our good, niche, local businesses. We are very lucky to have such a strong retail presence in the town with very few empty shops”
Others in the top ten of the 70 businesses who the public voted for are Brookes Family Convenience Store, Veterans Woodstore, The Raw Store, The Men’s Room, The Estate Café, Neeps and Tatties, Granny’s Kitchen, King Street Kitchen and Gift and Angus Morton Butchers. These are all thriving local businesses that have opened in Richmond within the last 10 years.
Marcia continued, “All these businesses were nominated by members of the public. It shows the variety of shops we have in Richmond and the dedication owners, managers and staff give to their businesses. This is exactly what Richmond needs to encourage shoppers to use and appreciate our local shops and produce.”
David Doorbar was passionate about Richmond and he wanted the town to thrive. He believed that businesses should strive to achieve the best and to look after their customers in the best possible way. He believed strongly that Richmond has the potential to develop into one of the most vibrant town centres in England, with an enthusiastic and successful retail sector at its heart. This award in his name shows that Richmond is well on the way to achieving David’s ambition and that he would be very pleased and proud to see Richmond thriving.