Tributes pour in for the beloved Richmond businessman after his death
A NORTH Yorkshire family paid tribute to an ‘always positive’ Richmond business owner who died unexpectedly on Tuesday.
Dennis Graves owned and ran the Mocha Chocolate Factory with his wife Elizabeth and had recently started to expand to open a new chocolate factory in Aske.
Mr. Graves was a much loved chocolate maker and husband and ‘got into’ everything he did, being an active member of Richmond’s cultural life at the Richmond Business and Tourism Association.
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Involved in many community projects in the city, like the Richmond cleanup in 2019 and helping organize the Christmas market, Dennis was well known and the Facebook post announcing his death has so far received 397 comments and 785 reactions.
Mark Allatt, Dennis’ brother-in-law, said: “He started his business with my sister, they managed this jointly, as well as the cultural life of Richmond.
“He would do anything for anyone, he was always upbeat and always positive, always full of energy.
“We nicknamed him Mr Fix It because he could literally fix anything with his mechanical abilities.
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“I think he had just embarked on a new hobby of restoring and overhauling a motorcycle and he would only do that for a few months and then he would be on a world forum with people doing the same.
“As with everything with Dennis, everything he touched he did to perfection and the pieces he restored were like new.
“He and my sister Elizabeth started this mocha business in Richmond where he was a chocolate maker.
“He made all of the handmade artisan chocolates for them and they were literally, no lie, they were literally the best chocolates you have ever tasted.
“They were so full of flavor, when they said it was a lemon zing, it was a lemon zing that would hit you between the eyes, they were just absolutely stunning.
“He tried a lot of things but I think he really found his calling with chocolate making and he really loved it. My sister and Dennis started their business eight years ago, I think, and it has been a phenomenal success.
“The heart of it all was the chocolates that Dennis made because that’s what made them unique and different and that was all of his creations.
“Unfortunately his death was completely unexpected for people, he was as fit as a violin, completely unexpected, I was absent on Tuesday.
“Then he was not feeling very well in the morning went to the hospital and died in the afternoon, so completely unexpected.
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“He’s going to leave a lot of people a very, very big thing. ”
MP and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who opened the Mocha Chocolate Factory, said: “This is a terrible loss for Elizabeth and her family and my thoughts are with them.
“They had created a great small business in Moka, had weathered the past 18 months and had exciting plans for the future.
“Richmond has lost a leading and innovative member of its business community.”
A Facebook commentator said: “I’m sorry to hear this sad news. I think of Liz and the whole Mocha family. Dennis was a lovely man with time for everyone and will be sorely missed.”
Another commented: “Devastating news from losing such a great guy. I think of all of you in Mocha, especially Liz. Sincere and deepest condolences.”
One Facebook user said: “Oh my god! I’m sorry to hear that! Dennis was a lovely man and it was absolute pleasure to know him. Our hearts are with his family!”
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