Ruth’s chocolate magic proves the icing on the cake

Ruth Hinks of Cocoa Black near Peebles with a selection of her hand made chocolates.
Ruth Hinks of Cocoa Black near Peebles with a selection of her hand made chocolates.

SWEET dreams have become a reality for chocolate connoisseurs Cocoa Black, writes Bob Burgess.

The Peebles-based company melted the hearts of judges at the British Bakery Awards who crowned them Confectioner of the Year.

Chocolatier Ruth Hinks cast a spell over the judging team with her mouth-watering creations.

The judges enthused: “We are impressed by the magic and inspiration Hinks brings to everything she does. The industry needs innovation from people who push back the boundaries, both in terms of the offerings they create and the products themselves.”

Cocoa Black was formed by Ruth and David Hinks three years ago. The company is based on the Southpark Industrial Estate from where it also runs the Cocoa Black Chocolate and Pastry School.

And last year the company opened a French-style patisserie and coffee shop at Cuddy Bridge in Peebles. It has also branched out into online sales. A delighted managing director David commented: “This is a great scoop for Scotland because last year the winners were from London. Also, one of the finalists has been in business for 22 years whereas we have only been established since 2008.

“We like to think that we have really put Peebles and the Borders on the confectionary map. Ruth and I have worked really hard to set up the business and to consistently achieve a level of excellence in all our products.”

And he was full of praise for their customers and 12 full and part-time staff: “We want to acknowledge all of our customers who give us such amazing support and, of course, a note of thanks to all our staff for their tremendous efforts in helping to grow the company.”

Ruth’s next venture is the UK Masters where she finished in second place last year.

Television presenter Richard Madeley presented Ruth with her Confectioner of the Year Award at a glittering ceremony in London.