Press release -

Top of the chocs

The founders of a Scottish chocolate factory got their own sweet treat after being awarded five-stars from VisitScotland.

The New Chocolate Company has achieved the national tourism organisation’s top quality award for its factory experience in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, less than three years after opening.

The visitor attraction, run by husband and wife Brian and Joanne Dick, received an “exceptional” score in categories including core experience, hospitality, friendliness, staff efficiency, and cleanliness following a Quality Assurance visit.

Brian, co-founder of The New Chocolate Company, said: “We do nothing by halves here and want everything to be top notch so that our customers have a great experience.

“We are over the moon to have been awarded five-stars from VisitScotland – it proves to us that our hard work is worth it and hopefully this will open up doors for us and lead to more people visiting Scotland, taking notice of us.”

Brian and Joanne ditched their jobs in finance after a chocolate-making course turned into a new career. The pair started learning about the sweet treat back in 2007 and in 2016 decided they were ready to launch their own company. In 2018 pastry chef Katrina Hocking joined the team and Brian and Joanne credit her with helping to shape the business.

Visitors to the factory can find out the secrets behind their melt-in-the-mouth confections and sample some too, of course.

Gordon Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “The New Chocolate Company is a wonderful addition to Scotland’s stellar array of attractions and it is exciting to see a business aiming for and achieving such high standards within just a few years.

“Brian, Joanne and their team are dedicated to providing an exceptional visitor experience along with their amazing chocolates and this five-star rating shows that their hard work is paying off.

“We need to continue to create world class experiences, events and attractions to keep up with ever-changing visitor demands. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”

VisitScotland’s world-leading Quality Assurance scheme have been developed over the last four decades in partnership with the tourism industry and informed by visitor research. QA stars alongside online reviews give visitors a balance of objective and subjective views to assist in their decision making and expectations.

For more information on The New Chocolate Company visit:

For more information on Quality Assurance scheme visit:


  • Tourism


  • tourism
  • quality assurance


  • Scotland

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
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Scotland’s Themed Years

  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
  • 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
  • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
  • 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.

Press contacts

Anna Gault

Corporate Press Officer - National Contact for media enquiries on: Growth Fund; Travel Trade; VisitScotland Expo; Literary Tourism; Forth Valley 0131 472 2223

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