Go North Wales Young Tourism Person of the Year 2019

My name is Timothy Winstanley, I am 27 and I was shortlisted in this category two years ago for my chocolate company Pendragon Drinks. I have recently opened the Llandudno Chocolate Experience and would like to try again. I am a deeply ambitious self-taught chocolatier and after a profitable 2018 Christmas, I decided to invest the money into a new and innovative venture. I needed more space to manufacture, (as my house was no longer big enough to cope) so I decided to open a chocolate factory. I did not like the idea of having a building which did not pay for itself, so I combined it with a new tourist attraction. As a result, the visitors pay for entry, thus paying for the staff and the building; making the factory free of the expenditure. I also designed it so that the front of house staff can package my products; effectively meaning they are doing two jobs for me. The building was a derelict shell when I was offered it. To achieve the result that I wanted within my budget, I did the majority of the work myself. Working seven days a week for three months I used my skills as a model builder to transform the decaying rooms into the nine eras of chocolate, ranging from a Mayan hut and an Aztec temple to a Victorian street and a WW1 trench. I had to work in the evenings to keep Pendragon Drinks functioning (where I would grate and temper the chocolate that was funding the project.) I also sourced the majority of the pieces of furniture from various charity shops to keep the prices down. I also helped arrange for my family to buy Maisie’s Chocolate Shop. The shop is just across the road from the Experience and I am increasingly producing more of the products for the shop. It is intended that I will buy the shop in a couple of years when my mother retires. I intend to open other chocolate shops to sell my products in the coming years. Pendragon Drinks has expanded beyond hot chocolate since when I was shortlisted, and we sell chocolates to several other tourist attractions in North Wales and beyond. We are also an exporter now and have sent over fifteen pallets to Norway over the last year and the new bespoke machinery that I designed has dramatically increased our capacity.