Cre­at­ing confections makes work a treat

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By CATHER­INE HEALY

Not many peo­ple would be brave enough to start their own busi­ness in the mid­dle of a global fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Par­tic­u­larly not a busi­ness sell­ing a non-es­sen­tial, high-end prod­uct such as lux­ury choco­late.

But Stu Jor­dan was de­ter­mined to start a new ca­reer do­ing some­thing he loves.

He was made re­dun­dant from his IT sales role in Jan­uary 2009 and was pleased to es­cape the ‘‘soul­less’’ cor­po­rate world.

‘‘I made a list of 10 things I am passionate about. Choco­late was num­ber 10 – it only made it on to the list be­cause I was eat­ing choco­late at the time.’’

For some­one who loves bak­ing, pas­try and desserts, the idea of be­com­ing a choco­latier seemed the best op­tion. Not ev­ery­one agreed.

‘‘It was amaz­ing, the neg­a­tiv­ity that I hit. Not one per­son said ‘Go for it’. My ac­coun­tant said ‘Don’t do it’.’’

But Mr Jor­dan be­lieves that if you’re passionate about some­thing and you have the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence to make it hap­pen, you should fol­low your dream.

He opened the Queen St branch of The Sweet­est Lit­tle Choco­late Shop in 2009. ‘‘I went to Mel­bourne and spent a month with a choco­late master. It gave me a fan­tas­tic foun­da­tion.’’

Th­ese days his knowl­edge of choco­late mak­ing is im­pres­sive and he’s even started a school.

The treats he and his team pro­duce in their Glen Innes fac­tory are de­signed to sur­prise and im­press.

Bite into one of their white choco­late hearts and be blown away by the in­tense pas­sion­fruit flavour of the ganache in­side. Try the chilli and lime and you’ll be hit by a wave of sweet tangy cit­rus, fol­lowed by a sub­tle burn.

Choco­lates that taste of lemon lime and bit­ters, fei­joa vodka and fresh rasp­ber­ries are other high­lights.

Mr Jor­dan worked as a re­tail trou­bleshooter for many years, so while he ad­mits that open­ing three stores in three years was risky, it wasn’t a com­plete gam­ble.

So was it the right move? He ad­mits busi­ness is tough, but there’s no way he’s giv­ing up. Even the nay-say­ing ac­coun­tant says things are on the right track.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Sweet job: Stu Jor­dan be­came a choco­late maker af­ter be­ing made re­dun­dant from his job in the IT in­dus­try. He is work­ing long hours pre­par­ing thou­sands of choco­late hearts for Valen­tines Day.

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