Monday, July 15, 2024


Encouraging Experimentation

William Gordon-Harris, CEO KNOOPS

The KNOOPS story is deeply rooted in a love of chocolate and the belief that every chocolate experience should be as unique as the individual enjoying it. In this interview, we meet with CEO William Gordon-Harris to learn all about the brand and discuss the fast-growing concept we see on the market today.

It was his childhood memories that sparked a lifelong love affair with chocolate and in 2013 Jens Knoop, founder of KNOOPS, decided to share his passion with the launch of his eponymous store in Rye, East Sussex with a mission to elevate drinking chocolate to an art form.
Inspired by his Dutch name of “Knoop”, meaning “button”, Jens is on a journey to perfect the craft of customised chocolate drinks through “Knoopology”.

Currently the company operates 20 stores across the UK. These can be found in Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Chelsea, Chester, Covent Garden, Edinburgh (two sites) Guildford, Kensington, Knightsbridge, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Notting Hill, Oxford, Richmond, Rye and St Albans.

Expanding beyond the border of England into Scotland was a significant milestone for KNOOPS, representing our commitment to bringing the KNOOPS experience to new communities,” explains William Gordon-Harris, CEO of KNOOPS. “The Old Town store is great to grab a hot chocolate on the go whilst exploring the beauty of the city. Meanwhile, for those looking to sit down and catch up with friends or get on with some work over a hot chocolate, the New Town store is the perfect location to do so.”

St Albans, England, UK

A global business in the making, the company’s expansion is set on a long-term plan with a focus not only on the UK but also abroad. William comments to us that he does not see any area in the world where KNOOPS would not have relevance. The company believes that the future of retail lies in delivering exceptional brand experiences. From their welcoming store environments and personalised customer service, to their retail offering which enables customers to craft their own drinks at home, the KNOOPS team is dedicated to creating memorable moments for every customer. KNOOPS’ loyalty program, interactive app and online community further enhance customer engagement, ensuring that they continue to enjoy KNOOPS, both in-store and at home.

The medium of social media plays a pivotal role in the marketing strategy of the business, allowing them to connect with their audience in meaningful ways. Leveraging platforms like Instagram and TikTok, they showcase their range of in-store and at home products, engage with customers and share the brand story. Through compelling content and targeted campaigns, they harness the power of social media to amplify the company message and reach new audiences.

Bath, England, UK

We next move onto the topic of sustainability, a core value of KNOOPS. William explains that they are committed to minimising their environmental footprint by using recycled, recyclable and compostable materials in their packaging and store design.
“Importantly, we source our chocolate from suppliers who prioritise sustainability and support local communities. Our new Cocoa-Fruit Frappé is a great example of this, as it takes the cocoa fruit pulp which has traditionally been a waste product and turns it into a consumable product and generates new, sustainable income streams for farmers,” comments Gordon-Harris.

With the development of their app and loyalty program, they are putting Knoopology straight into customers’ hands and providing them with the opportunity to explore and order from their menu like never before. The opportunities to further develop the capabilities of their app and connect digital customers with physical experiences; is one that really excites Gordon-Harris and his team.

HyperFocal: 0

In the past 11 years the brand has seen continuous success and the CEO puts this down to their relentless commitment to quality, innovation and customer satisfaction.

“What sets us apart is our dedication to personalisation, allowing customers to tailor their drinks to their exact preferences. Whether in-store or at home, the KNOOPS experience is truly unique, offering a level of customisation and craftsmanship unmatched by other concepts,” Gordon-Harris highlights.

Chester, England, UK

The ethos of the company revolves around celebrating the joy of chocolate and creating unforgettable moments for its customers. They believe in the power of personalised experiences, sustainability and community engagement. Their passion for chocolate drives everything they do, from product development to customer service, instilling a sense of warmth and delight in every interaction.

As our time with William begins to run short, we ask him finally, what lies ahead and what does he perceive to be the greatest challenge facing KNOOPS?
“Our greatest challenge and opportunity lies in maintaining our momentum while staying true to our values as we scale globally. As we expand into new markets and channels, we must preserve the authenticity and craftsmanship that define the KNOOPS brand. By staying agile, innovative and customer-focused, we are confident in overcoming any challenges that come our way and realising our vision for the future of this amazing business that we have created.”