Taylor + Bennett - Our Story

Established in 2015, Taylor + Bennett are artisan, luxury confectioners and chocolatiers with high quality products. All products are hand-produced in Yorkshire using locally-sourced ingredients and the best fine chocolate from around the world. Even the paper for their packaging is produced in the Lake District using waste from the cacao production process.

DAN BENNETT

Dan is a chocolatier and confectioner from Yorkshire. He retrained as a chef in 2011 after a career as a bar manager and subsequently worked in an award winning gastropub in East Yorkshire. He decided to specialise and became a chocolatier training under Eiichi Sukegawa, a well-known chocolatier and patissier. Dan eventually became the Head Chocolatier of Melt Chocolates in London’s Notting Hill and was responsible for many high profile chocolates for luxury brands, hotels and department stores.

JAMES TAYLOR

James has 20 years’ experience in the sales, marketing, print and branding industries. As well as co-founding Taylor + Bennett with Dan, James is founder of “Pressision” a creative print company still practising the art and the traditional craftsmanship of print in its truest form and working with some of the world’s biggest brands. He has a passion for locally sourced quality goods, craftsmanship in every form, quality, attention to detail, family, friends and being happy

HOW IT STARTED

It all started after a testing week at work for Dan. He posted a tongue in cheek comment on Facebook, looking for a partner to go into business with so he could produce the chocolate and confectionery he really wanted to, the way he wanted to. It didn't take long for James to pick up on his Facebook post and after a short private message conversation it soon became apparent that they both had the same vision and values, and they decided to get together to discuss the finer detail.

With Dan working in Notting Hill and James working from his Shoreditch office every couple of weeks, their next chance to get together was nearly a month later, and being foodies, naturally this was over dinner. So the founding meeting of T&B took place at Dishoom, an Indian tapas restaurant in the heart of Shoreditch. While queuing outside for a table on a cold February night they were offered a small glass of hot Chai. The aromatic combination of cardamom, nutmeg and cloves instantly sparked off deep conversation about flavour profiles and possible combinations. That night, in the "Bombay, British Empire" surroundings, the Chai Cinder Toffee was born - sweet, smooth and warm on the tongue, a balanced yet complex taste experience.

A month later, and after several test batches of caramels, fudge, chocolate and cinder toffees, Dan arranged to meet James in Regent's Park. Sat on a bench on a sunny April's day they tasted the refined batches and discussed further development. The Green Tea infused Cinder Toffee was born, the quintessentially English location again influencing their decision on flavours.

The range was developed over the following months, and with the products and flavours decided it was time to start building the brand and packaging. Dan & James instructed AgencyTK to help with the branding. This process was a journey, just like the products and flavours it took time and several routes before the refined brand you see today was created.

James, being founder of creative print company Pressision, he really wanted to look outside the box on the packaging and bring something unique to the market. He discovered a paper and board, made here in England in the Lake District and distributed by Yorkshire based GF Smith Papers, utilising cacao husks - a by-product of the chocolate making process which is usually discarded. Dan & James couldn't believe their luck -  all of their packaging and business stationery is now made using paper derived from cacao. Amazingly, with a late addition to their range of chocolate bars, a 70% dark chocolate with cacao nibs and single origin coffee beans, from local roasters North Star Coffee, Dan discovered that the same paper mill produces a range of board using recycled coffee cups. The wonderful, deep tones of the cacao and coffee boards have subsequently become an integral part of their brand.