Assorted box lifestyle

Artisan’s range is available in its three London boutiques, as well as online. It also supplies private-label chocolates to fine food retailers in the UK

Luxury chocolatier Artisan du Chocolat has been acquired by former Godiva CEO Mohamed Elsarky for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1999 by Anne Weyns, Artisan employs 80 staff in the UK at its workshop in Kent and at three retail boutiques in London.

Elsarky, who has a background in global fmcg and private equity, oversaw the expansion of Belgian chocolate retailer Godiva to almost 800 stores in 35 countries during his time as international president and CEO.

He takes over as chairman at Artisan following the acquisition of a majority stake in the company.

“Acquiring a brand during a global pandemic was always going to be a challenge, but I was determined to invest in this unique business,” Elsarky said.

“I believe wholeheartedly in Artisan’s potential. Artisan du Chocolat is an absolute gem – it has all the ingredients for a fantastic business recipe: creativity, uncompromising quality and dedication to its craft.”

Artisan produces its upmarket chocolate in the UK using sustainable sourced cocoa beans, mostly from South America. As well as selling its range in its three London boutiques and around the world online, it also supplies private-label chocolates to fine food retailers in the UK.

Weyns said: “Mohamed not only shares my passion for fine chocolate in spades, but importantly brings an unparalleled global experience in branded and private-label chocolates and the track record of transforming businesses and developing scale, while preserving quality.

“Under Mohamed’s leadership as chairman, we will accelerate Artisan’s sweet journey to bring smiles and pleasure to many more people, which is very much needed these days.”

Elsarky plans to invest in increasing production at the business and developing the online platform.

“With Anne Weyns’ relentless determination, the company has already transformed from a startup to a renowned luxury chocolatier with tremendous growth opportunity,” he added.

“I feel privileged to join Anne and her team to realise the ambitions which the business deserves.

“With outstanding products that have pleasure and gifting at their heart and a loyal customer base, the brand will be recognised as a premium British chocolate company that strives on innovation and quality. Artisan has a delicious future.”

Details of the transaction, which completed on 30 October 2020, are undisclosed.

Elsarky’s investment is backed by a financial investor. Advisors included Bluebox Corporate Finance, MHA Carpenter Box, RSM Corporate Finance, Dickson Minto and EMW Law.