Knoops, a new chocolate drinks shop in St Albans, is now ready to open its doors.

The store is set in the city's former Ruby Room unit, at 12 Market Place, and will open to the public tomorrow morning (Friday, June 16).

The location is the company's 11th branch, and features seating for up to 20 people, with takeaways also available.


Prior to the shop's opening, The Herts Advertiser attended and spoke with founder Jens Knoop.

Herts Advertiser: Jens grew up in Germany, but opened his first branch in Rye, East Sussex.Jens grew up in Germany, but opened his first branch in Rye, East Sussex. (Image: Pearce Bates)

Jens grew up in rural Germany, and has always had a passion for chocolate.

He opened his first Knoops branch in Rye, East Sussex, after moving to the UK to study photography.

Herts Advertiser: A range of pastries are available at Knoops.A range of pastries are available at Knoops. (Image: Pearce Bates)

He has since opened a range of branches from London to Oxford, and released his own cookbook.


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Speaking of St Albans, Jens said: "It's ridiculously pretty!

"I was walking around yesterday, it was busy because it was market day obviously.

Herts Advertiser: A range of chocolate percentages are available.A range of chocolate percentages are available. (Image: Pearce Bates)

"But when it was quiet, I was walking around in the evening to admire the architecture.

"There's a lot of history here."

Fitting with St Albans Sustainability Festival, taking place until Sunday (June 18), Jens spoke of how the cocoa and coffee used in his drinks are sustainably sourced.

He continued: "It's super important!

Herts Advertiser: Knoops chocolate can be purchased, for use at home.Knoops chocolate can be purchased, for use at home. (Image: Pearce Bates)

"The cocoa industry has always been under scrutiny, and people have a very close look at the sustainability aspects of cocoa.

"So, we are in direct contact with the cocoa farmers, I know where the cocoa is coming from, I know the path where it is being shipped, how much the farmer is being paid, and so on.

"So, I am taking responsibility for the choices of what chocolates we have on the menu."

Jens also dispelled rumours that chocolate is not as healthy as coffee, pointing to athletes as examples.

Lastly, the chocolate entrepreneur spoke of tomorrow's opening: "We have a fantastic team here who are supporting the opening.

Herts Advertiser: The interior of Knoops, St Albans.The interior of Knoops, St Albans. (Image: Pearce Bates)

"Vanessa, our manager, is very excited to welcome everybody from St Albans!

"There is a chocolate for everybody, even the most harcore vegan or dairy intolerant people.

"This is a walk-in centre for them.

"Even though we used to be well-known for doing hot chocolate, it is also cold.

"We have 22 different hot and six different cold.

"So, whatever the weather, there is always a chocolate for everybody!"

Tomorrow, one free chocolate drink will be given to the first 200 customers to visit who have signed up to Knoops online newsletter, available on the company's website: