Our Craft

Here at Thorntons, we’ve been crafting chocolate for over 100 years. That’s a lot of know-how that goes into each and every chocolate we make.

It all started back in 1911 when travelling confectioner, Joseph William Thornton, opened up a sweet shop in Sheffield.
He didn’t know then just how successful it would become, so he carried on with his day job and entrusted his 14‐year‐old son Norman to run the shop. He handed over the keys and told him to “make this the best sweet shop in town” ‐ and that’s exactly what he did.

Word was starting to spread about the Thorntons shop, so Joseph brought on his brother, Stanley. With lots of quirky sweet treats like ‘Violet Cachous’, ‘Sweet Lips’ and ‘Phul-Nanas’, they sold the best confectionery around. But it wasn’t until the 1920’s that the brothers were making their hand‐made chocolate truffles, crystallised fondants and, of course, their famous Thorntons special toffee.
Then, there was no stopping them.

A lot has changed since our first humble store in Sheffield. By the 1970’s we had nearly 90 shops, and now we have a grand total of 228. But some things have stayed exactly the same. We still only use the finest cocoa beans to create our chocolate ‐ whether it’s dark, milk or white.
And whether we’re making our famous toffees and chocolates or hampers stuffed full of treats, our passion for chocolate and love of craft still shines through in everything we do. 

“Make this the best sweet shop in town”

Joseph William Thornton