Creating confections makes work a treat
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.
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.