WHEN you walk into Emily Flanagan’s workshop at her Burton home the smell of chocolate hits you instantly.
Chocolate lover and mum-of-one Emily fell in love with creating an array of tasty treats with an added twist. Her dream became a reality when her hobby took over and led to her leaving her job at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital to take on chocolate making full-time.
From there she created Merry Berry Truffles and now spends up to seven days a week creating a range of interesting and exciting flavours which she sells online and at beer festivals across the country. Some of the chocolates that she creates are matched with certain beers which is going down well with the younger generation.
Emily, 45, who has a young daughter, said: “I love my job. I never get bored. If you’d said to me ten years ago this is what I’d be doing I wouldn’t have believed you.
“I always loved chocolate. Five years ago a friend and I went on chocolate making workshop and I thought ‘I love doing this’ so I continued doing chocolates while working part-time as a receptionist at the hospital. I made them for friends and family and kept getting asked if I could make more.
“It was costing me to make so many and it got to the point where I couldn’t go to work because it had taken over. It escalated from there and within two years the business had taken off.”
Now Emily has equipped her Burton home with all the necessary chocolate making facilities and ingredients, with boxes full of the finished products ready to be sold at the many beer festivals they attend - which now stands at as many as 60 a year.
There is also an ever-growing customer base with daily orders placed on the website, with some coming as far as away at the USA.
Emily now creates 15 types of chocolate, with flavours including hot chilli with lime and ginger, cinnamon, lemongrass and chilli and orange. As well as this around 2,000 truffles are made every three days from her workshop where she also has a part-time member of staff. The most popular chocolate are the ones with chilli in. An extra hot one takes the name Scorpion Death because of the sting in its tail.
“We have a lot of people that follow us around the beer festivals,’ said Emily, ‘and we supply The Bridge Inn and The Coopers Arms pubs in Burton.
“I have always had an interest in beer and always used to go to Burton and Derby festivals. One day I was sitting with my husband in the evening. He had a couple of bottles of beer and suggested I try them together. It went really well together and I couldn’t think of anything already out there that does beer with matching chocolate.”
They then arranged a meeting with Marston’s and the head brewer paired Pedigree with a mixed spice and fruit chocolate which are used in their hampers.
She added: “A lot of young people are interested in beers and have recently started trying chocolate with it.”
More information can be found at merryberrytruffles.co.uk