• Chocolate Business Startup Course - 5 Day

    24-28 Jan, 2022 @ 9am - 5pm 11-15 July, 2022 @ 9am - 5pm

**UK and Ireland Residents Only**

Have you ever thought about becoming a chocolatier and opening a chocolate shop or making chocolates for local wholesale? If the answer is yes, then this 5 day course could be your first step towards that journey!

This course is filled with informative theory and extensive practical work to give you an in depth look into the world of chocolate, to teach you new skills and techniques that will help you get started in building your chocolate business.

Join us at the Chocolate Academy™ centre in Banbury where we specialise in training and updating chocolate professionals from the serious novice to the successful chocolatier.

Who should attend:  Anyone who is thinking of becoming a chocolatier and opening a chocolate business.


Course Schedule:

Day 1 – 12.00pm - 7.00pm approx.

  • Upon arrival - light lunch
  • Introduction to the chocolate industry
  • Theoretical explanation of the journey from cocoa bean to finished chocolate bar
  • 'Cocoa Horizon' 
  • Tour around our Banbury chocolate factory
  • Professional chocolate tasting 
  • How to choose the right chocolate for the right application
  • Review of supplier contacts to assist you in planning a small chocolate business
  • Explore the Callebaut website for tutorials on chocolate techniques
  • Environmental Health and Trading Standards
  • Light Supper with the Academy Team

Day 2 – 9.00 - 5.30pm approx.

  • Science of tempering chocolate
  • Ideal working and storage environments 
  • Common chocolate productions faults – how to identify
  • Tempering – by hand, table top, seeding, microwave tempering  
  • Practical session covering - chocolate bars, bark, figures, lollipops, moulded chocolates by hand
  • Preparation of truffles 
  • Selling tips & negotiation workshop

Day 3 – 9.00 - 5.30pm approx.

  • Chocolate machine options – first purchase consideration
  • Production using continuous tempering machines
  • Modern decoration techniques using coloured cocoa butters and creative powders for moulded chocolates
  • Science behind ganaches
  • Short and long shelf life ganaches for moulded and enrobed chocolates - including cold and hot infusions
  • Creative Easter eggs
  • Classical and contemporary decoration of truffles

Day 4 – 9.00 - 5.30pm approx.

  • Parameters that affect shelf life
  • How to calculate the shelf life of a ganache 
  • Enrobing techniques - by hand and machine
  • Confectionery snacking bars
  • Insight into Human Resources
  • Evening meal with the Academy Team in local restaurant

Day 5 – 9.00 - 4.00pm

  • How to Improve your Marketing with Effective Social Media
  • Visit from Special Guest Chocolatier – covering real life experiences of starting and building their own chocolate business, selling and costing of products, storing finished chocolates, shelf life, labelling of chocolate boxes, good websites for testing and Q&A
  • Marketing Trends Presentation
  • Professional Packaging of products made over the weeks course sponsored by Keylink
  • Where now?  One to One Business Target Consultation

The course includes:

  • 2 Professional Chocolate Academy chefs jacket
  • All recipes and technical information
  • All of your professionally packaged chocolate creations
  • Hospitality - two evening meals plus lunch and refreshments each day
  • A signed Chocolate Academy certificate

**Accommodation not included**

What to wear: You will be in a professional working environment so will need to wear comfortable working clothes (long trousers) and covered, closed toe shoes.

Please note: Jewellery (including watches) and nail varnish to be removed for the duration of the course.

Price includes VAT

NOTE: Your course place is not secured until full payment has been received.

If you are already running a business we advise you speak to our Academy Chefs prior to booking this course to make sure you are signing up for the right course to meet your full training needs. Please contact chocolate_academy_ukie@barry-callebaut.com

Wanting to learn more? The next step would be:


Date 24-28 Jan, 2022
Teacher Julie Sharp Mark Tilling
Price 1500 GBP
Language English
Location Banbury
Status Full
Date 11-15 July, 2022
Teacher Julie Sharp Mark Tilling
Price 1500 GBP
Language English
Location United Kingdom, Banbury
Status Waiting List

Julie Sharp


Julie Sharp has been sharing her chocolate expertise at the UK Chocolate Academy since 2011.

Her career led her to be Head Pastry Chef at prestigious venues in London, including the Regent Four Seasons ( Landmark) Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental.

Driven by her passion for travel, Julie accumulated experience in prestigious five stars venues overseas.

 Firstly to the Bahamas as Pastry Chef for the Lyford Cay Millionaire’s Club, then to Canada to Chateau Lake Louise and lastly to the Sofitel in Melbourne, Australia.

Then she moved back to one of London’s most  iconic hotels: Claridges.

Recognised for her contribution to the Pastry world, Julie was invited to become a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and was awarded Pastry Chef of the Year by the Craft Guild of Chefs.

After completing a Certificate of Education, an opportunity arose for her to combine her love for pastry, travel and teaching and she joined Barry Callebaut as Chocolate Academy Chef.

Being recognised as a leading Pastry Chef in the UK, Julie regularly features in judging panels for the highest competitions in the industry such National Chef of the Year and Annual Award of Excellence.

More recently she was honoured as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and also invited to be a Fellow of Westminster Kingsway College.

Not only does she teach at the UK Chocolate Academy, but she also shares her craft via many tutorials online and regularly appears in major British hospitality publications such as The Caterer.



Mark Tilling


Mark Tilling has been working for over 25 years as a pâtissier and chocolatier in the industry. Throughout his career he has worked in many hotels and restaurants including The Lanesborough on Hyde Park Corner in London, Lainston House Hotel in Winchester, Hotel du Vin Group in Winchester and Bristol and the Pave D’Auge in Normandy, France. Mark has also cooked for several well-known figures including President George Bush Sr., Cher, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex to name but a few. Mark has received many awards for his chocolate and pâtisserie work over the years: including many gold and silver medals for his desserts and petits fours, as well as double gold for his chocolate showpieces. Mark’s highest achievements, however, have been winning the UK Chocolate Masters competition from 2006 to 2008, and coming 12th in 2007 and 7th in 2009 at the finals of the World Chocolate Masters. After these accomplishments, Mark was made a UK Callebaut Chocolate Ambassador. Mark has a great passion for teaching and enjoys passing on my skills to all kinds of people. Mark is a regular contributor to Cakes & Sugarcraft and Squires Kitchen Bake School magazines as well as the author of three books, Squires Kitchen’s Guide to Working with Chocolate, Squires Kitchen’s Guide to Making Macaroons and Mastering Chocolate. In 2016 Mark took part and won the title of "Bake Off Crème de la Crème" an eight part series on BBC Two to find Britain's Best Team of Pastry Chefs alongside his team mates. Mark also took part in Extreme Chocolate Makers for Channel 4 in 2019 and was featured in 4 episodes. He regularly appears on James Martin’s Saturday Morning specials on ITV. Mark joined the UK Chocolate Academy in January 2020.


Level 1


You have no experience in the art of chocolate but are motivated to be immersed in this wonderful world.


CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ center United Kingdom, Banbury

The UK CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ center is based in Banbury, Oxfordshire and is a ‘State of the Art’ purpose-built training environment with eight individual work stations, allowing for one-to-one, hands-on tuition. The Academy is situated adjacent to the factory allowing easy access for tours of the Barry Callebaut plant.

Our courses have been designed to offer practical and theoretical help for the novice chocolatier through to the chocolate artisan, pastry chef, confectioner, baker, caterer and lecturer.

We are extremely proud to have some distinguished chefs from both the United Kingdom and Europe to help run our courses, all of whom have extensive knowledge, expertise and experience in the field of chocolate.

We would welcome the opportunity to share with you our passion and expertise to expand and fulfil your chocolate creativity.