News & Reviews
It's only October and I have been making plans for Christmas. Well ya gotta be organised!
My first chocolate offering will be ........
Seasonal CHRISTMAS CAKE STYLE TRUFFLES will be available. Always popular; consisting of luxury dried fruits soaked in Port with allspice they are a great stocking filler or Christmas treat. Just £3.70 for a 100g bag - larger bags to order.
Slightly smaller than the chocolate jigsaws are these rather lovely CHRISTMAS POSTCARDS.
Making a unique choccie pressie they are priced at £6.50 each.
More Christmas chocolat treats to come ..........
RADIO STOKE - APRIL 2015
Easter Sunday Morning at 8 am (so you may have missed me) - a quick chat with Liz Ellis about making chocolate Easter Eggs. Unfortunately there were no examples to show Liz as I had sold out at Stone Farmers Market the day before.
STAFFORDSHIRE LIFE MAGAZINE ARTICLE -
FEBRUARY 2015 EDITION
Thanks to Jenny Amphlett for a great Valentine's article outlining 'A Sweet Love of Chocolate' with photos of some of my special Valentine's chocolate hearts, patterned chocolate boxes and my 'I Love You' bars. Remember though, chocolate hearts don't have to be just for February 14th.
RADIO DERBY INTERVIEW
A short interview on Saturday 18 October with Andy Twigge to promote the Carsington Food Festival. However, I always like to promote my chocolate so Andy very kindly tasted some samples in air and seemed suitably impressed. Thanks Guys.
RADIO STOKE INTERVIEW ON AIR 26 JUNE 2014
(available for a week on the Radio Stoke website - Perry Spiller )
Radio Stoke contacted me with a request to talk about a country represented in the World Cup in Brazil for the Perry Spiller Show 10 am - 1pm weekdays. I know nothing about football, but they were researching links to Ivory Coast and had found out that the largest export from the Ivory Coast is CHOCOLATE. So that's where I came in. Jodie Looker came to see me and we spent a very enjoyable half hour talking about chocolate. During the interview (which was then condensed down to around 3 minutes) I asked Jodie to taste some finished chocolates and we talked about the Grappa Truffle. I am sure she enjoyed it and here's the picture to prove it!
It was lovely to meet you Jodie - you are welcome to visit me anytime if you want to try some chocolate tasting again.
Popular as ever, the patterned chocolate boxes can be made to your specification and make an ideal gift for the friend who has everything. Presented in a clear box and dressed with a ribbon and with a range of chocolates, these make special gifts.
Shoes for the girls....... you can't go wrong especially in rich Belgian chocolate!
£9.50 as pictured below but with a range of chocolates inside for £13.00.
ARTISANS OF SHROPSHIRE
Am pleased to announce if you are visiting Ironbridge in Shropshire, that you will be able to find a good selection of my chocolates together with some ab fab artisan-made gifts, foods, and crafts. A great little shop ... check it out on Artisans of Shropshire's Facebook page. Nadia, Netty and Dave will give you a warm welcome and you can browse and talk about their specially chosen craftspeople.
ASSOCIATION OF CIVIC HEADS
The Chocolate Tailor was pleased to attend the magnificently grand Walsall Town Hall in July to give a presentation and chocolate tasting to the consorts of the members of the Association of Civic Heads. The Association was founded in 1949 and membership is limited to those who are, or have been Sheriff, Lord Mayor, Mayor or Chairman of their respective County, City, Borough or District Council. On a hot Summer evening we talked about the history of chocolate and the process of tempering chocolate. Formal chocolate tasting etiquette was followed by tasting three handmade chocolates. One guest explained that Cadbury's, who were Quakers, began the business of manufacturing chocolate drinks as a way of offering an alternative to alcohol; I shall use that information in future - thanks.
LEAVING RODE HALL FARMERS MARKET
A big 'Thank You' to all my customers past and present at Rode Hall Farmers Market. I have traded at Rode Hall since the first market but now feel it is time to try a new venue - so I am trying my luck at Stone instead. I appreciate the support for my chocolates and the friendly chats we have had and hope that maybe we will be able to catch up at one of my other markets. Or, of course, you can contact me and collect your chocolates from me direct in Newcastle under Lyme.
INVITATION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
Take chocolates to the Houses of Parliament? Yes, of course! An invite for The Chocolate Tailor to represent the range and quality of Staffordshire food and drink was appreciated. Tasters given and talking to local and national MP's, and House of Commons staff proved to be an interesting and unique day. Advocated the importance of knowing where our food comes from (in the light of the then current horsemeat scandal), keeping the food chain short and knowing who you are buying your food from.
NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS......
Just developed my new chocolate bouquet - a 'bunch' of ten assorted chocolate bars on sticks displayed as a bouquet. An explosion of chocolate bars would make a great gift for anytime. All for £20, but don't ask for delivery - this is for collection from a market only!
Alcoholic desserts for all you grown ups......
Is this a candle or a shot glass?
No it's a lemon meringue dessert. Using a chunky shot glass mould filled with a champagne chocolate ganache, delicately flavoured with Sicilian lemon essential oil and topped with a mini meringue, this little treat is ideal for your dinner parties, buffets or as an any-time after dinner indulgence.
Also try cherries in kirsch and new summer flavours to be developed.
BLOGSPOT - GOOD FOOD SHOPS
Thanks to Bill Pearson who has written some very complimentary things about the Sugnall Farmers Market. There are photos and descriptions of a range of stalls, including one of me, and my chocolate teeth!
NEW - CHOCOLATE TEETH!
Don't tell my dentist, but I have now made some chocolate dentures. Don't know whether I like them or not as they look pretty gruesome, but I have sold several sets to people who like a joke. Smile please!
Maybe I should become a dental technician?
CHOCOLATE HEART BOXES
Patterned chocolate hearts make a nice little gift for your sweetheart - different patterns available in white,milk and dark chocolate.
I have also made a few cute little chocolate 'trinket' boxes - just big enough for a couple of chocolates inside A perfect little bespoke gift which I can make to order. I can only make them one at a time at the moment, so let me know if you would like one specially made for you.
CHOCCIE CHOO SHOES
Smart court shoes in chocolate -each one handmade and individually decorated. For fans of Jimmy Choos who would rather eat their shoes than wear them.
A great girly present.
£11.00 for one; or £20 for a pair
COMPLIMENTS FROM THE WOMEN'S INSTITUTE
From Margaret Clements - Derrington WI
'Just to say thank you for your very interesting talk I attended. I bought some lemon hearts and I can honestly say, I have never tasted a choc so delicious. I sat one evening and ate the lot!! (usually I can only manage two chocs at a time. I am ashamed to say that the three chocolate mice bought for my grandchildren never saw the grandchildren'
Thank you Margaret for taking the time to send me your comments - it's good to know that I am getting it right and the chocolates I like are pleasing others.
From Val Lynch, President of Weston Coyney WI.
'Thank you so much for talking to our WI and giving us an insight into the history of chocolate, showing us some of the lovely chocolates that you make and letting us sample them too. We all enjoyed the evening very much and I know most of the ladies bought chocolates, as I did - they were delicious.'
Thanks Val, for your comments.
Staffordshire Life February 2009 issue
A fantastic article and photographs by Dave Hancock about my chocolates for Valentine's Day. Dave spent a couple of hours with me and showed much interest in the process of making and moulding chocolates. He also quite enjoyed the compulsory tastings.
To quote 'If you want to make your love's heart melt with a bespoke gift on February 14 then call on..... The Chocolate Tailor'
I knew it -Chocolate IS good for your health!
According to The Daily Telegraph 'Train your Brain' - January 2009
'Dark chocolate boosts your brain while protecting you from heart disease and cancer. Eating approximately 20 - 150g a day of dark chocolate can improve your learning and your memory. Improved blood flow carried more oxygen to the brain, enabling you to think quicker for longer. Your blood vessels relax, reducing blood pressure, brain damageand risk of heart disease'
Maybe the Court of Montezuma were right centuries ago when they used their chocolate drink as a medication and a brain stimulant. High in antioxidents, dark chocolate has more flavenoids than green tea. A study by Prof Berg of Harvard of people in Panama who daily drink dark chocolate found that rates of heart disease were lower by 1280%, cancer was lower by 680% and incidence of diabetes and strokes were also considrably lower.
The magnesium in dark chocolate decreases the coagulation of your blood while the MAOs (don't ask) in dark chocolate allow the levels of seratonin and dopamine to remain higher for longer, alleviating depression and producing feelings of well-being.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidents, called flavenols, which mop up the free radicals which can attack and oxidise the DNA in your brain, creating growth points for tumours.
Wow - that's impressive. But do have good dark chocolate (mine is 53.5% cocoa solids and contains less sugar than milk chocolate) and try my single origin Tanzanie (at 75% cocoa solids) for a deliciously wicked but healthy treat,
Staffordshire Life Magazine -December 2008 issue
A very complimentary paragraph in a Christmas food-related article by 'Blanche de Vere'. Dear Blanche was particular impressed with my patterned chocolate boxes and my seasonal 'Christmas cake' truffles and says ' Her chocolates are quite the best I have ever tasted and she makes them so cleverly' Thanks Blanche. Look out for another article in Staffordshire Life for February.
Luxury Chocolate to beat the credit crunch!
Consumers are spending more on chocolates as the credit crunch bites. Despite cutting back on 'unhealthy' items people are treating themselves to luxury chocolates which offer them value in terms of quality, indulgence, and superior taste. Dark chocolate, particularly, is seen as offering health benefits as it is rich in anti-oxidents and is lower in fat and sugar but sales of milk and white luxury chocolate are also increasing, According to a 2008 Mintel Report. 'Brits may not be splashing out on chocolate as often as they used to but they are certainly splashing out more on premium varieties'.
Forget the current economic turmoil and remember The Chocolate Tailor when you want to splash out on your chocolate treat!
Party Party Party
How about a chocolate party? Organise a get-together with your chocolate-loving buddies and I will bring six chocolates for a formal tasting. A short presentation on the history and health benefits of chocolate and a pleasant evening will be had by all. This also give you the opportunity to see the current range and make an order for your bespoke chocolates. Contact me for further details.
Filmed for television
Well, is this fame at last? BBC Midlands Today havet filmed me making chocolate for their 'Chase Your Dream' series . They were looking for people who have changed their lives and careers to take a new path in life - and I fitted the bill. A two hour visit from a video reporter, 30 minutes of footage....... all for a one-minute slot. The programme went out on Wednesday 25 April at 6.30 on BBC1.
Kind comments from Angela and Graham Caddick for whom I made chocolates for their Masonic Ladies' evening.
"Just a card to thank you for all your hard work and making our evening special with your chocolates - all the ladies present were delighted with their invididual chocolate teardrops and hope that your will soon get some more orders!"
'SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES IN BUSINESS'
Tuesday 14 November 2006 in the Sentinel
A fantastic write-up on my business and colour photograph of me and my lovely chocolates in the centre pages on the local evening newspaper. It is sometimes difficult to believe that my little business could make interesting reading but I've met several people in the last week who have said they recognised me from the article. Thank you, WiRE, who initiated the publicity to support Women's Enterprise Week.
From Mrs Anna Wardle of Stockton Brook, Stoke on Trent
“I bought some of your Apricot Truffles yesterday and we ate them last night. They were the most delicious chocolates we have ever tasted. My husband said they ‘just melt in your mouth’; and he is a very hard man to please.”
From Phil and Heather Brammer
Jackie, Phil and I wanted to say a special 'thank you' for your expertise and skill in making us both such lovely wedding favours. The youngsters really liked their special chocolates (needless to say these were devoured before the meal). Friends and family commented on how beautifully presented, and tasty the chocolate was - they truly were superb Jackie. I also wanted to say how sensitive and thoughtful you were when I was deciding colours (for wrapping the chocolate in) Thank you.
Peter Roberts - Call in the Caterers
At ‘Call in the Caterers’ we make a point of using local produce and products within our menus. Handmade chocolates just add the finishing touch to any meal and it has been a pleasure to work with The Chocolate Tailor. Jackie’s product, professionalism and reliability are first class and we have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone.
Enjoy being a chocoholic
I read this with interest in the August 2006 edition of She magazine
‘Scientists believe there is growing evidence that eating dark chocolate can relax the blood vessels, help to prevent blood clotting, and stave off heart attacks’. One leading doctor is planning a study this year to test chocolate’s health benefits on heart patients. He believes that there will soon be sufficient evidence that the flavonol substances in dark chocolate (which act like aspirin in preventing blood clotting) will support these claims. ‘Doctors may soon recommend we eat about four squares of dark chocolate as part of a healthy diet’