The best part of running your own business for me is to have an idea, a late night crazy idea, and to see it taking shape, becoming real and transforming into a beautiful and delicious product out there in our stores for others to enjoy. Easter chocolates ring of eggs and bunnies. Although these have their place in tradition, this year i wanted to create something totally different. When i look for inspiration, i never follow trends, nor do i use agencies to determine whats "in" - these are in fact one of my pet hates. If someone tells you what a trend is, then it is not a trend anymore. It has happened and that ship has sailed - why run after it? Moreover i would much rather spend more money on ingredients than on creative advice on product or packaging. One late night or early morning (i am a night owl), i could not sleep and went down to my home office, a room that i often use for inspiration. I picked up an amethyst crystal shimmering in the sliver of moonlight and thought how amazing these would be in chocolate. Then the hard work really started. First drawing the mould and begging our Welsh supplier to turn it into a mock up fast. Luckily for me, my enthusiasm for the concept was so contagious that they loved the idea and delivered the first sample mould in one week. Second i had to figure out where i could source shimmering sugar crystals. I hit the phone at 9 am (i watched the clock slowly rotate from 8 am on) and spoke to all the suppliers i knew who could potentially develop these. If you knock on enough doors, eventually one opens. Indeed when get asked what is the quality required for running a business, i always answer resilience, not giving up - ever, holding onto an idea or a goal and not letting go of it even if it feels like you are fighting alone against the odds.
So 10 days after i had on my desk the first sugar crystals. I chose the sizes and colours that worked best. Finally i needed to find the right chocolate to balance the sweetness of the crystals and white chocolate. It took the the extreme bitterness of the 100% unsweetened Dominican Republic cocoa to achieve that harmony.
That is what dreams are made of, not only cocoa and sugar crystals but mostly of determination and hard work.
Have a dreamy chocolatey week. Miss Anne x
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