LITTLE Pretty Things is a York business which has proved itself to be choc-full of promise.

Its creator, Sophie Jewett, and her helper, Helen Dunn, have become high priestesses of chocolate, with a growing following of connoisseurs.

Their fans flock to their chocalatier workshops in The Cooking Rooms at their base at the York Eco Centre, Clifton Moor, crowd out history lectures on the subject, call on them to supply chocolate for private parties as well as for weddings and business events and, of course, savour their creations with gusto – or should that be “gutso”?

Well, who can resist Sophie’s Yorkshire Truffles, inspired by regional fruits, produce and flavours, such as Yorkshire Curd Tart, Yorkshire Blue Cheese chocolates, and the range of chocolates entitled Little Bitter Things, which includes York Brewery’s Centurion’s Ghost?

Now, even as Little Pretty Things is being shortlisted for the Enterprise UK Make Your Mark in the Markets competition, Sophie is pitching for two accolades in the York Press Business Awards – the Small Business of the Year and Women In Enterprise categories.

Sophie launched Little Pretty Things last year when she and her colleague Helen, who also worked for York St John University, began making chocolate Christmas presents for friends and family and found themselves being asked to make wedding favours.

Last May, Sophie left her job as York St John’s events officer to concentrate on the business full time. Originally from the Isle of Wight, Sophie came to York in 1999 to study politics, philosophy and economics at the University of York and fell in love with the city.

And here is where she bases her evangelism. Having been given a choccy-slot at last year’s York Food and Drink Festival, she has now organised an entire chocolate festival within the festival during the ten-day event which launches at the Guildhall on September 17 with an evening dedicated to Little Pretty Things, alongside the brilliant creations of other chocalatiers.

She said: “I’m passionate about the role food plays in tourism and visitor experiences. Chocolate is a gem that sets us apart and gives visitors a unique experience. I’m determined to spread the happy message of chocolate.” As for the future?

“I am paving the way ultimately to give York its own chocolate museum,” she said.