Chocolarder launches its newest #EASTER Egg, filled with a sea buckthorn and honey fondant

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Penryn-based Chocolarder is launching what surely must be one of the most unusual and luxurious Easter Eggs to be found on the market.

The 140g Easter egg is filled with a breath-taking combination of black bees’ honey and Madagascan vanilla, unrefined sugars and a pinch of Cornish sea salt. The final unexpected ingredient that balances this sweetness is a serving of foraged sea buckthorn from the nearby coast.

The result is a heavenly blend of bitter orange with hints of pine and mango, creating a fondant with real depth and character. The fondant fills two half eggs made from Chocolarder’s 55% Chuno milk chocolate which is grown at 300m altitude in San Jose de Bocay in Nicaragua. The chocolate has a rich, creamy, malty taste and is made from single varietal beans that are fully-traceable right back to the farm gate in the Nicaraguan highlands.

Chocolarder owner and founder Mike Longman is a former pastry chef who set up the company in 2012 using his previous experience in fine dining. Chocolate’s answer to Heston Blumenthal, Mike is a true innovator and is constantly looking for the next big flavour.

He said: “If you’re seeking something different for a special someone for Easter, this is a far cry from the mass-produced eggs that you see everywhere at this time of year. Having seen sea buckthorn growing along the Cornish coast and always wanting to make the most of the ingredients that surround us, I was keen to make the most of this mesmerising flavour. Mixing it with honey and vanilla has created a real showstopper and a fondant that is full of flavour but not too sweet. Not only that, but sea buckthorn is rich in vitamin C and Omega 7 and has been renowned for its health benefits for thousands of years.”

The egg is packaged in a beautiful wooden slat presentation box which is made from recycled materials and in turn is fully recyclable. Chocolarder strives to use as little packaging as possible while protecting the egg and keeping the flavour in prime condition.
As well as the Easter Egg, Chocolarder offers a full range of chocolate bars including amazing flavours such as a wild gorse flower bar made from gorse picked from the cliffs of Kynance; Cornish honeycomb, made from the honey of Lizard bees and a Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh bar, among others.

Mike adds: “My intention was to create a product based on the principles that have always been at the heart of great food – unadulterated sensory enjoyment without compromise. No shortcuts, preservatives, bulking agents, substitutions or artificial shenanigans. Just the real deal from the bean to the chocolate. This is a genuine commitment to ethical transparency that extends to every aspect of the business.”

Mike has an unequalled knowledge of chocolate and is one of about 20 chocolate in the UK who buy in the raw organic cocoa beans and make chocolate from scratch. He is also passionate about supporting reputable growers and farmers while shipping the beans to the UK in the lowest carbon method possible – via sail ship.

The select beans used at The Chocolarder are roasted, winnowed and ground using a grinder made by Mike. They are then left to mature for 30 days. The chocolate is then hand tempered and made into bars. This obsessive attention to detail yields some of the finest chocolate in production today.

“It’s a beautiful and highly-visual process and we’d love for more people to enjoy the theatre and spectacle,” he added.

The firm has exciting growth plans for 2018 and is building a new headquarters complete with factory and café via a crowdfunding campaign. The new building will be based in Bluebell Hill, close to the site where the company originated.

Chocolarder was founded in 2012 by former pastry chef Mike Longman. Mike is fascinated with the process of producing chocolate from scratch and has perfected the art of roasting, conching and alchemising cocoa firstly in his kitchen at home and now at Chocolarder HQ in Penryn.

Chocolarder is one of the only small batch bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the country, producing fine quality, stone-ground chocolate using organic beans imported from single estate, family run plantations in Venezuela, Java, Madagascar, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

Demand for the delicious, high-quality product means that Mike is looking at a larger premises and is crowdfunding this project, where investors can buy bespoke gifts and experiences such as tours, corporate events and products in order to raise the £50,000 needed for the new factory.

The Easter Egg is priced at £13.95 and is available at selected outlets including Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, various farm shops and online at http://www.chocolarder.com

Are you a #journalist #blogger #pbblogger #foodjournalist interested in covering this story? Tweet me @newburymummy or email magatha28@hotmail.com

 

 

Escape the 9-5 with a career with animals!

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Following years of stress, there’s a spring in Julie Turner’s step as she sets off to work. The busy mother-of-one faced a two-hour commute into London every day to tackle heaps of work at an IT recruitment company.

Julie decided enough was enough and needed to make a drastic change to her work-life balance. This led to her buying a We Love Pets dog walking franchise in West Berkshire in 2014. Just one year later her branch won the title of Small Business of the Year at the West Berkshire Business Awards.

We Love Pets was founded in 2008 to meet the need of busy pet owners, by providing dog walking and pet sitting services. The business has grown to 16 franchises across the South West and South East. The franchise network enables animal lovers to run their own business and enjoy a better work-life balance.

Franchisees and their teams look after family dogs, cats and other pets. Previous customers have included snakes, lizards and donkeys.

Julie now enjoys the flexibility of working from home and taking care of her son. She manages a great team whilst enjoying the support from experts in the head office team. There are financial rewards too, as Julie turns over about £7,000 per month.

Her commute now involves going down to the kitchen to make a coffee before she starts work in her home office. She now deals with invoicing, emails, customer enquiries and staff hours, taking breaks when she wants to and meeting with her team regularly. The support from other franchisees is invaluable and they work together to face challenges together.

Julie says “The business fits in with my lifestyle and it’s great to have the flexibility to work from home. I used to commute to London and now I only commute to the home office and to meet staff – it’s heaven”.

Company Director Joanne White says, “we’re delighted with the success of the Newbury branch, her branch really has complemented our ethos to looking after people and pets. We look forward to expanding across the UK and are looking for likeminded people who want to move away from office/corporate stress to run their own businesses”.

Want to know more?

tweet me: @newburymummy or email magatha28@hotmail.com

The Red House, Marsh Benham and The Castle Pub in Donnington, Newbury announce West Berkshire Mencap as their charity of the year

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Two popular West Berkshire pubs have announced West Berkshire Mencap as their charity of the year for 2018.

The Red House at Marsh Benham and the newly-renovated Castle Pub in Donnington have organised a series of fundraising events plus on-going support for the local charity that helps people with learning disabilities.

The collaboration will see the pubs make a donation to West Berkshire Mencap for each bottle of still or sparkling water sold at both locations plus a pound from each sale of the two pubs’ ‘West Berkshire Mencap dish of the day’.

Additionally, there is an exciting programme of events planned for the year including a regular fundraising dinner. There will also be monthly quiz nights and these have already raised £213.

Chef Patron Laurent Lebeau said: “We wanted to do something that would really benefit the local community. West Berkshire Mencap seemed a perfect fit, and their enthusiasm for our initiatives means we can maximise the funds raised. We are really looking forward to working with West Berkshire Mencap and raising as much money for them as we can”.

Leila Ferguson, CEO of West Berkshire Mencap, said: “We are so excited to be working with the Red House and its new sister pub The Castle in Newbury. The team at both locations has come up with some hugely inventive ideas and ways in which they can help us raise much-needed funds to help local people with learning disabilities and their families.

“As a food fan myself, I am delighted that we have struck up this partnership and can see great opportunities for working together and mutual support over the next 12 months and beyond.”

The Red House is run by Chef Patron Laurent Lebeau and his team who have recently taken on the Castle Pub in Donnington which opened in November after refurbishment.

 

Buttermilk launches Strawberry Bellini fudge in time for Valentine’s Day

Buttermilk-14Cornwall’s much-loved family confectioner Buttermilk has launched the perfect flavour for that special someone.

You can now enjoy Strawberry Bellini fudge – the perfect treat for the one you love this Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day.

The new handmade sweet treat is inspired by everyone’s favourite cocktail. Its unique fizzy and crumbly texture combines a strawberry and prosecco fudge topped with white chocolate and popping candy.

Gorgeously creamy, these buttery, crumbly chunks of loveliness are studded with sweet-yet-sharp freeze-dried strawberries, flavoured with white chocolate and a little dash of Prosecco, and give your taste buds a surprising tingle.

All in all, it’s a sumptuous, fruity, fizzy treat that’s perfect as a gift or for nibbling alongside a glass of prosecco and a strawberry or two.

If you eat the packet before you’ve handed it over to the one you love, then don’t worry. Buttermilk is also launching a fabulous Strawberry Bellini Easter Egg alongside its two luxury Easter eggs; Caramel Sea Salt Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate and Honeycomb Easter Egg. The Strawberry Bellini Easter Egg is infused with freeze-dried strawberry pieces and a little popping surprise. Inside, you’ll find a further helping of Buttermilk’s new Strawberry Bellini Fudge.

The 100g Strawberry Bellini Fudge box is available at selected outlets including Lakeland and at www.buttermilk.co.uk priced at £2.99. A 150g box priced at £3.99 is available at Waitrose.

Ends

About Buttermilk Artisan Confectionery

A family-run business, born and bred in Cornwall, a love for everything sweet has been inspiring Buttermilk’s artisan confectionery for over half a century. Their story began in 1964 with the opening of their first shop in Padstow, and although demand for their fudge has grown and grown, their award-winning treats are still lovingly handmade by craft confectioners. Staying true to their heritage, the skilled team at Buttermilk can still be found using traditional copper pans over open flames, carefully blending ingredients to create indulgent, award-winning treats.

School swimming

We’ve been travelling A LONG way to get decent swimming lessons so I was interested to see that the school is now offering weekly sessions.

Swimming is one of my favourite things in the world. However, indoor pools are not. Dirty changing rooms, shouting teachers, boiling hot pools – I try so hard to keep my dislike under my hat so as not to put small son off.

 

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Job one was to put small son’s name onto his towel, swimming costume and goggles. I got out the needle and thread, sat down with an old towel and discovered that someone had got there first. My mum had already sewn my name onto the towel. Near enough, that’ll do.

Then I replied to the school that I would help the children get back onto the coach after the lesson. I tend to be at the leisure centre at that time anyway for a class so asked what I needed to do.

“Your job will be to keep the children away from the vending machine” came the reply.  Now that is not my forte. I have trouble with keeping away from vending machines myself, but I said I’d do my best.

On the day, the children arrived earlier than anticipated. I was still red-faced and sweaty from my class, and despite every one of my muscles aching, I helped some children get dressed and sent them off to get yelled at by the swimming teacher.

Today’s session was just about putting them into groups according to ability. Two at a time, they were asked to swim a width.  The boy sitting next to small son didn’t budge when it was their turn, so small son jumped in with a massive smile on his face and started swimming while the swimming teacher screeched at him to stop.

Then they got out again and we were treated to the chaotic sight of more than 30 children getting dressed. Small son was surprisingly swift and the head teacher said we could go.  I picked up his trainers and put them in my bag and we turned to go. A child stopped us and asked us for help finding her trainers.

“Of course”, we said, pointing at every shoe and asking if they were hers, before the head teacher said, once again, that we could go.  Halfway home, I got my keys from under a pair of trainers in my bag.  But if small son is wearing his, whose are these?

We sprinted back to the pool and I presented the shoes to the girl, as discreetly as I could. “Where were they?” shouted a bunch of relieved parents. “Er, in my bag”, I said.

“But why would you do that?”

“I don’t know – a mum’s tidying up reflex I think”.

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Calla-Coll for hair, nails and skin

Hampshire beauty therapist Lynne Baker from Calla Salon has seen five years of hard work and investment come to fruition this month as her new collagen supplement drink has been launched onto the market.

Lynne, who also set up retail and trade beauty therapist business Calla Distribution, is so well regarded in the beauty industry that she’s often known as “Lynne the Skin”. She is also a former registered nurse who came up with the idea for a new high-potency supplement drink called Calla-Coll when faced with pain and additional problems caused by osteoarthritis.

Looking for alternatives to surgery with which to help the joint pain, she searched for a natural product that would help and hit upon the idea of a collagen supplement. After extensive research and clinical trials into the benefits of collagen on the body, she started to formulate the high-potency drink with the help of a specialist lab in Sweden using bovine collagen. 

Containing award-winning Pure Peptide and Hyaluronic Acid, Calla-Coll’s ingredients also include 10,000mg of Type I and Type III collagen plus Vitamin C, Vitamins B5, B6, B7 and B12, Copper Gluconate, and Silica. Just 25ml a day can help give the body a wide range of health benefits including:

• Boosting natural collagen production
• Promoting smoother, plumper, brighter skin
• Strengthening hair and nails
• Reducing joint pain associated with arthritis
• Increasing joint mobility
• Helping with healing

Lynne said: “Once you reach the age of 20, the body’s natural collagen production begins to slow down, resulting in lines and wrinkles and wear and tear on the entire body.

“Most of the time, skincare is limited by the fact that there is only so much it can do when applied to the outside of the skin. It can only really be at its most effective when it can start work from the inside.

She added: “We’re all living longer, but that’s no good if you’re ageing badly. It struck me that we need to take more preventative measures to help our health, rather than waiting until things start to hurt.

“I wanted to create something that would mean that people could stop taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories and to help people to repair the body. I researched what happens to skin when it ages and it was evident that helping the production of collagen would help. It’s everywhere in your body; it’s the ‘scaffolding’ that holds your body together – it’s not found in plants.”
Calla-Coll has a pleasant berry taste and can be either taken on its own or added to a smoothie to help with the body’s production of collagen. She added: “People don’t want to take tablets or have to spend time mixing powder with water. I wanted it to be simple and pleasant, plus to ensure that the bottles are as ecologically sound as possible.”

The product launch sees a dream come true for Lynne who knew from a young age that she wanted to be a beauty therapist but had successful careers in both nursing and IT before she launched Calla Salon in 2008.

It’s now available online or from selected beauty salons, hair salons, osteopaths, personal trainers, and nutritional therapists Since its launch, it’s already proved popular among beauty experts and exceeds all European and Swedish standards. The collagen is also sourced from organic, free range, grass fed, and non-GMO cows. Early anecdotal evidence has shown that the product can help the health of gums, nails and hair, reducing blood sugars, as well as general health.

THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRESH AIR FRIDAYS – HELPING PEOPLE THRIVE

 

THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRESH AIR FRIDAYS – HELPING PEOPLE THRIVE

New Year’s resolutions often include doing more exercise and a Pamber Heath businesswoman is inviting people to embrace the great outdoors every month as an antidote to the stresses of modern life.

Corrine Thomas is inviting people of all ages to her Fresh Air Fridays sessions; a new movement that aims to encourage people to step away from their computers and out into the fresh air.

A sedentary lifestyle can increase the chances of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers and with that in mind, Corrine has been the facilitator for North Hampshire for a year, running monthly meetings in both Basingstoke and Pamber Heath.  The idea of the group is to combine walking, wellbeing and mindfulness in a three-hour session, no matter what the weather.

Corrine also works as a career coach and specialist in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) for children and teenagers and realised that there was real pressure on people of all ages from the demands of modern life.

She says: “Many of us live busy and hectic lives, rushing around trying to meet the next deadline, whilst thinking about what’s for dinner or worrying about whether we’re spending enough time with our families. Time for our own development and wellbeing comes way down the list.
“This was me not long ago, I spent most of my life in a state of overwhelm, was stressed and had lost the ability to be creative. I’m a trainer and coach for both adults and children and often hear my clients expressing the same frustrations. “Something I do love is being outdoors, taking time and space in the beautiful surroundings of nature always enables me to clear my head, see things from a different perspective and re-connect with my inner creativity. I often solve difficult and nitty gritty problems that are bothering me after time outside. “When I found Fresh air Fridays I was delighted, it gives me time every month to re-connect with who I truly am. A few hours focusing on my own wellbeing leaves me refreshed and full of energy, so I can get back to the life I love.

Corrine decided to get involved with fresh air coaching to improve productivity and well-being and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that we are more successful and happier when we spend time in a natural environment.

“There’s a real joy in connecting with nature and celebrating its simplicity. It just allows me to leave behind a busy life and connect with something so simple. I love connecting with my members and the community spirit it brings,” she adds.

The Fresh Air Fridays concept was originally set up by Rosie Dixey and Ruth Steggles who wanted to set up a self-development community that would take place outside.

Ruth says: “I love being outside, walking and group coaching when I realised that these things could be combined with amazing results, Fresh Air Fridays was born. In order to achieve maximum health and wellness we need time in nature, as well as to move our bodies and still our minds.  These are the underlying principles on which Fresh Air Fridays has been built.”

Rose adds: “We explore a different self-development theme each month and each session is structured to allow time to relax, time to reflect and time to create steps to take in your daily life; all whilst being outdoors in lovely surroundings.”

Sessions take place across the whole of the UK and Corrine’s North Hampshire sessions take place twice a month; one is on a Friday around Pamber Heath and Silchester with a second on a Saturday (“Any day can feel like a Friday!”, she jokes), along the Basingstoke canal near Hook.

Her current attendees range from the self-employed to retired people and all have noticed that the walks can be game-changing.

Katie, said: “Fresh air Friday walks gives me a regular space in the beautiful outdoors to enjoy nature, with like-minded people in a calm and relaxing manner, helped by the breathing exercise and meditation, where I can reflect on my life and purpose. Thank you Corrine for facilitating these sessions so well and bringing healthy tasty cakes each time too!”

Kim said: “I love walking and I have a passion for personal development. Fresh Air Fridays combines both of these perfectly and the session is a lovely way to spend time in nature. The sessions have provided an opportunity to meet other people who are willing to listen and share their experiences with me. I look forward to the session as it allows me to take a break from my busy life and gives me the time and energy to fill myself up. I always come away from the sessions feeling energised and inspired. Corrine is a skilled facilitator who brings a lovely sense of humour and wisdom to the sessions. I find the sessions nurturing, creative and fun.”

The first Fresh Air Fridays session is free; subsequent sessions cost £25 or £250 for the year. For more information, click onto www.freshairfridays.co.uk/corrine-thomas/

 

For more information, or to speak to Corrine, tweet Margaret at @newburymummy