West Grinstead chocolatier scoops prestigious organic award

JPCT 23-01-13 S13041333X Cocoa Loco, The Chocolate Barn, Hill House, West Grinstead. Founder, Sarah Payne -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 23-01-13 S13041333X Cocoa Loco, The Chocolate Barn, Hill House, West Grinstead. Founder, Sarah Payne -photo by Steve Cobb

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The owners of a West Grinstead-based chocolatier are celebrating after receiving a Soil Association award last night (September 19) in the only category voted for by the public.

Husband and wife duo Sarah and Rory Payne picked up the ‘Consumer Choice Award’ for their business Cocoa Loco at the charity’s 27th Organic Food Awards, which campaigns for planet-friendlyfood and farming.

Sarah told the County Times: “It feels really amazing. I feel really proud because I do think we have a great team and an amazing chocolate product and it’s amazing for people to be prepared to take the time to vote for us.

“We only found out on Monday that we had been shortlisted so it was all a bit last minute.”

The awards were presented by Scottish writer, radio and television presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli at the ceremony which took place at the Whole Foods Market in Kensington.

“He actually forgot our award,” continued Sarah. “He did his closing speech and sat down without announcing our award so I was literally sat on the edge of my seat and my heart was pounding.

“The director of the Soil Association then got him back up and said that he forgot an award but it was really scary! Rory and I were just looking at each other looking a bit confused.”

The Soil Association invited the public to tell them about their favourite organic food or drink product and Cocoa Loco came out on top with their Dark Chocolate Brownies.

The public were asked to nominate based on the best quality, taste and value with Cocoa Loco receiving the most votes.

Sarah added: “Hopefully it will mean a lot more interest in Cocoa Loco and open some doors for us as well.

“In 2008 we won the organic food hero with the soil association but that was 5 years ago so it’s nice to have one with this year’s date on it.”

For more information about Cocoa Loco visit www.cocoaloco.co.uk