Many of us will be enjoying an Easter egg over the weekend and our love of chocolate is helping fuel the rapid expansion of a chocolate factory about 40 minutes from Colchester.

Malaysian company GCB (Guan Chong Berhad) Cocoa makes liquid and solid chocolate for many food manufacturers, with its chocolate appearing on most supermarket shelves in bakery and confectionary items.

The 17-acre site in Glemsford, near Sudbury, was opened in May 2023 and employs 60 people producing milk and plain chocolate, with plans to introduce a third production line and process cocoa in the near future, which could provide 140 more jobs.


 Simon Godden, technical business development lead at GCB Cocoa, said: “We have been approved by a number of customers and we have got our food safety certificate – that was a key thing for last year.

"This year we are seeing huge growth and more and more customers on board. We are investing in a new line and more staff.

“85,000 tonnes per year is what we are working towards over the coming years, but really we are looking for 24/7 running with all lines fully staffed around the clock.

“We are trying to differentiate ourselves with our allergen control, quality, and customer service. GCB is relatively new to the UK but we have found our customers are impressed with the state-of-the-art facilities and with the quality of our products.”


At the factory, chocolate is made to the exact specifications of the customer and the whole site is nut-free, with allergen-free options like dairy-free plain chocolate safeguarded with segregated production lines and ingredient storage.

How is chocolate made?

Throughout the production process, there is extensive testing and several critical control points, checking for any contamination, micron size and quality.

And GCB is very aware of changing consumer trends and the rising cost of cocoa.


Mr Godden added: “We are looking at cost reduction for our clients as well as products with no added sugar and products which are low in fat.”

And while we may all be tucking into Easter eggs this weekend, the factory is already preparing for Christmas.

“People are already looking at getting chocolate for Christmas,” Mr Godden said. “Now is the time to develop a recipe for Christmas taking into account the customer designing all the packaging and launching the product.”