Chocolatier Clevedon wins three Taste of the West awards
A Clevedon chocolatier has won three Taste of the West Gold Awards for their handmade chocolates.
Lisa Clarke won Gold Awards for her bar of caramelized white chocolate, sea salt and house roasted almonds, 500g of sexy and beautiful milk chocolate truffles with essences of flowers to promote a feeling of confidence and good -be, and sea salt caramel truffles.
When Lisa’s popular chocolate cooking school, The Chocolate Tart, was forced to close instantly when the lockdown began, chocolate maker Lisa began making chocolates by hand, working alone in her once bustling and busy workshop.
She said: “Being computer illiterate didn’t help when I was trying to figure out how to set up an online store during a pandemic. It was a huge learning curve.
“At first, it was easy for me to open a pop-up chocolate shop in front of my house and ask people to leave cash in a jar of vinegar to sterilize it or to do an online bank transfer. sold flour and yeast at cost alongside, which was to help keep Congresbury baking.
“It was a big secret from the village because sometimes people from outside the village would show up and load all the flour we had in their boots.”
Lisa explained that the flour came straight from Shipton Mill in 16kg bags and had to be weighed in 500g bags and tied with different colored ribbons so customers would know which flour was which flour when they returned home. them.
Mandy Zyczynska from Mandy Driving School was also not working, so she volunteered her time to pack the flour a safe distance from the door so Lisa could continue making her chocolates. So many people offered their help, but of course they couldn’t accept it as they had to put safety first.
Lisa added: “I asked anyone who could afford to pay double so that the villagers who had lost their income could take flour for free, no questions asked.
“It worked really well and everyone was so grateful. When I had surplus funds due to so much generosity with the sales of flour, I used it to make chocolates for the NHS.
“Once the online store was up and running, I made chocolates all day and spent the evenings and early hours wrapping, labeling and keeping up with administration and marketing. My husband, whose hotel business was also closed, became my postman and accounts department.
“Our second daughter who was doing her final year of the online degree from home helped whenever she could with the laborious task of packing late at night. In February of this year we moved to Clevedon.
“I am now thrilled and delighted to offer workshops, birthdays, bachelorette parties and social gatherings at various locations in Clevedon, Bristol and Bath and their surrounding areas for groups of four or more. The hands-on workshops on chocolate really make a fabulous keepsake and delicious chocolate gifts to take home.
“The idea of participating in the Taste of the West Awards would never have happened without the pandemic. Having an online store made me eligible to participate.
“I was completely blown away to receive three gold medals and a commendation for the four products in which I participated.”
Each product has its own story of how it was born, and Lisa will tell you all about it if you are with her in one of her workshops.
Starting Friday for six Friday mornings, chocolate and discussion workshops will take place at St Peters Church Hall, Alexandra Road.
The workshops are designed to help people regain a safe and confident social life. Come alone or with friends.
Ten percent of all proceeds from the Friday Morning Chocolate and Chat workshops will go to Clevedon Foodbank.
Lisa added, “These awards have been the icing on the cake for the incredibly difficult times our family businesses have faced in pivoting and constantly working to make our businesses safe in the event of a pandemic over the past eighteen months. “
The online store www.thechocolatetart.co.uk/shop continues to grow and orders can be placed nationwide or picked up from Clevedon.