Academy Of Chocolate


I read with great sadness the passing of the founder of the Academy of Chocolate, Sara Jayne Stanes, OBE. We always enjoy posting stories about the chocolate winners from the Academy, and when I needed to buy chocolate gifts for friends and family, I would turn to the list of UK winners from the Academy to find great ideas. We reprint the obituary below and send our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this amazing woman.

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our founder and president, Sara Jayne Stanes OBE on Saturday morning (24 July 2021).

Sara has been a true friend and colleague to so many of us. Her drive and dedication has had a huge impact on the global chocolate industry, and beyond.

Since founding the Academy of Chocolate in 2005, Sara has led the way in promoting the understanding of fine chocolate.

Under Sara’s guidance, the Academy of Chocolate awards is now the most established international chocolate awards; it has provided a springboard for many of the finest chocolate makers in the world today, as well as continuing to encourage and promote rising talent around the world.

She was an absolute pioneer of the chocolate world, and her pragmatic, passionate and devoted interest for chocolate producers, and the chocolate supply chain, means she will leave a far-reaching legacy across multiple sectors.

We will all miss her tremendous energy and enthusiasm, but most of all we will miss her boundless personal support, kindness and humanity.

Our deepest sympathies are with Sara’s husband Richard, and her immediate family.

From Chantal and Clive on behalf of Richard Stanes, news will be released more generally in the next day or so.


  • Nick Baskett


    Nick Baskett is the editor in Chief at Bartalks. He holds a diploma from the Financial Times as a Non Executive Director and works as a consultant across multiple industries. Nick has owned multiple businesses, including an award-winning restaurant and coffee shop in North Macedonia.

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