I am a 47 year old wife and mum of 2 boys (sorry, I know some people aren’t a fan of calling pets their babies) and my 3 babies, Lumo, a handsome Newfie hound, Twotopps and Mrmojorisin, the cats. That’s my role ……me? I am a real people person so I find working at home very isolating and have turned my local coffe shop into my office! I wouldn’t cope a day without music and you will usually find me dancing around the kitchen to anything from The Rival Sons to the soundtrack from Guardians of the Galaxy.
When I’m not working I am usually walking….well I live in Whitehead by the sea, how couldn’t I?
I worked as a nursery assistant for 10 years then as a 1-1 classroom assistant with special needs children in mainstream schools until at 43 I was diagnosed with Cancer. My passion for baking and walking became more of a focus for me and I baked that much I began selling them to people locally. After a while I wanted to challenge myself and started to work with chocolate. I am self taught, thanks to Messrs Google and Youtube although I went on to complete a chocolate course in London.
After a while I was diagnosed with depression and began withdrawing into myself, self harming and was suicidal. I count myself more than lucky that I came out the other side of this and decided I had to do something, why not open a chocolate business?! In 2016 I set up H’evans Truffles.
I have pivoted a bit. Initially I targetted retail outlets but the products shelf life proved an issue so I turned my attention to weddings, events and corporate gifts. That way I am in control of minimum and maximum orders and can make the chocolates knowing they will be eaten well before their best by date. I came up with the concept of memory inspired chocolates after deigning and baking a cake for my cousin, I based it all around memories of her wedding in Italy. I meet with the couple, we establish a special memory and I design a flavour to tell their story in flavour and chocolate. I had been doing workshops where the bride and groom could make the favours to give an even more personal touch but I am based at home so I share the family kitchen, it’s difficult to work around that…apparently you have to feed your kids so they need the kitchen too! Seriously though, it just didn’t work having to ban everyone from the kitchen and spend hours doing a total indudtrial clean down before each workshop. Now H’evans Truffles offers set flavours and an option to upgrade to their own flavour.
Recently my Tablet Fudge has proved massively popular and has been added to the menu for wedding favours and is currently on sale in The Gobbins Centre and will soon be in The Wickerman. I hope to get the fudge in with some other retailers soon.
I am immensley proud that H’evans Truffles has been featured in The Northern Woman, beaten Hotel Chocolat in a blind taste test and won a Women in Business award.
I absolutely love being part of MAW, it is such a supportive network of amazing women and there is always someone willing to help you out or point you in the right direction. The networking is so relaxed and can lead to so many opportunities and collaborations not to mention great friendships! It has given me a real push and helped me to get out of my comfort zone and grow.
Cancer has been the best and worst thing to happen to me, worst for obvious reasons but the best because it made me reasess my life and push myself to grow and adjust. It gives me a reason to be proud of myself for ME not for doing a good job for others.
My why? I want to spend quality time with the boys, working for myself gives me flexibility to do that, it gives me a sense of achievement and yes money…it facillitates all the things I want for me and my family!
This is my 2nd chance at life and I refuse to shrink back and settle, I want to make the most out of it!
I have also gone on to do a bit of public speaking and would love to do more. I am passionate about mental health, resilience and our perception of normal, don’t ask unless you have an hour or so to spare 😉