CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Local chocolatier Debbie Carter chats about Hampshire

08:33 16 July 2010

Local chocolatier Debbie Carter chats about Hampshire

Local chocolatier Debbie Carter chats about Hampshire

Sarah Peters chats to local chocolatier Debbie Carter about Hampshire, holidays and creating heavenly chocolates for grown-ups

Like many women, Debbie Carter had always loved chocolate. But, when she decided to leave nursing after 20 years service, little did she know that she would become an award-winning chocolatier, supplying many of the countys finest delis and farm shops,
as well as the likes of Harvey Nichols, Whittard and Fortnum & Mason.
Her artisan chocolate making company, Chocolate Craft, was set up six years ago making handmade luxury chocolates. Using fresh Hampshire cream and natural ingredients Debbie wanted to create a chocolate company that made the most delicious chocolates using the finest ingredients.

Having studied, sampled, created and decorated thousands of chocolates in her time, is Debbie still moved by the aroma and properties of chocolate?
You bet! she laughs. I am absolutely obsessed with chocolate. I eat it every day without fail. Im creating new chocolate combinations, tasting other producers wares and experimenting with chocolate the whole time, so I am always surrounded by it and still cant resist it.
She is constantly searching for new and unusual ways to blend flavours and create something special. Her most recent discovery is the success of blending salt or pepper to chocolate. It sounds strange, but its true. she explains. Theyre a perfect match. Thinking about new combinations and predicting which will be popular is an important part of my job.

I genuinely feel very privileged to have found Hampshire and be part of the local community

Award winner
Chocolate Craft is based in an old converted dairy farm in Alresford, near Winchester. Although during the early days Debbie worked from her own kitchen.
When she was a child Debbie wanted to be a doctor. In fact, she became a nurse and health visitor but eventually became a Doctor of Philosophy in 2004 after completing a PhD. She worked for 20 years in the NHS, based in Eastleigh.
Debbie describes herself as passionate and determined and her hard work was recognised recently. One of my proudest moments professionally was when we won the Fortnum & Mason Artisan Supplier Award in 2009 for providing them with consistently high quality products. It proved that my mantra was true: In whatever you are trying to achieve, persevere and dont give up.

At home in Alresford
Debbie has learned so much about business and her success is well deserved. She was recently featured in Woman & Home magazine being guided by entrepreneur, Jo Malone. I may seem organised, she laughs, but I still forget peoples birthdays. Thats one thing I cant get to grips with!
Alresford was an obvious place to set up the workshop, because Debbie lived in the area. Even now she is pleased that she made the choice to stay local. Despite aiming high, she has no intentions of moving away. I enjoy living here and although we do need larger premises well stay local. Its partly because I enjoy living in Hampshire. Cycling to work through the pretty countryside is the most enjoyable thing in the world. I admit, I am a fair-weather cyclist, but I do enjoy it when I head off on my bike. The scenery is just so beautiful.
I dont take the countryside for granted. I get out and about a lot and enjoy walking my Westie, Abbie, all over the county.
The Old Winchester Hill is a route I love. It takes you from the pretty village of Exton to the top of the countys most impressive hill fort. If I manage to get to the top of the chalk ridge there are impressive views in every direction on a clear day, you can see across the Solent as far as the Isle of Wight. The views are just fabulous.
I also like the walks alongside the stream of the Meon and to the village of East Meon. It is so beautiful: gorgeous cottages and houses, and lovely green countryside.

Hampshire favourites
The best thing about living in Hampshire may be the countryside, but where there is countryside, there are country pubs and Debbie has a few favourites that she likes to visit. The Flower Pots in Cheriton is so friendly and they brew their own beer. They do fantastic baps at lunchtime and I enjoy going along there to have a lazy lunch. Its very popular with locals and on a sunny day its just ideal as it has such a beautiful setting.
The Pub With No Name, in Priors Dean, Petersfield, is another favourite haunt. Its really called The White Horse Inn, but locally its known as The Pub With No Name. Its in the middle of nowhere and there are no signs to find it, but people still come from miles around to have a great meal or a drink. It has
a great reputation.
Debbie originally came from Lancashire but she has certainly become part of the community in Alresford. I genuinely feel very privileged to have found Hampshire and be part of the local community. Its small enough to have a sense of community, but large enough that there is lots going on.
The Watercress Festival is always a highlight of the year and rain or shine thousands of people come from all around. I love the atmosphere and the excitement of the event.
When shes not working, Debbie enjoys playing tennis at the Cheriton Tennis Club and she loves skiing. One of my favourite places to ski is in Les Gets, France. Its something I can enjoy with my sons, Ben and Matt too, which is nice.
I can honestly say I cant wait to get in to work each morning. I am currently working on recipes for winter: Christmas pudding truffles or how about dark chocolate and orange truffles with Grand Marnier? Sounds heavenly.


More from People

Mon, 13:00

We are delighted to announce the finalists in the 2016 Hampshire Life Food and Drink Awards

Read more
Friday, October 14, 2016

Head to the workshop - both real and virtual - of Ping and Lily and you will discover a truly eclectic mix of toys, accessories and crafts created from textiles, wood and their wild imagination

Read more
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Artist in Residence for Team BAR, Jeremy Houghton discusses the alliance of art and sport with Sandra Smith

Read more
Monday, October 10, 2016

With her father’s legacy to continue, Ringwood based Amanda Connock had a lot to prove when she launched her own beauty and fragrance company, Connock London, says Elizabeth Kirby

Read more
Monday, October 10, 2016

The Minster Gallery is pleased to present this new exhibition of paintings by Jean Noble between 11 November - 9 December. This collection is inspired by her observations of cities landscapes and the sea.

Read more
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ringwood has been an important market town for almost 800 years and with many of its traditions continuing, there’s a willingness to support small producers, both local and across the globe. Viv Micklefield meets some of those speaking-up for a fairer, more sustainable world

Read more
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Capturing the role of the Crown Keepers as they have never been seen before, New Forest photographer Sally Fear has a newfound respect for the natural wonder on her doorstep says Claire Pitcher

Read more
Friday, September 23, 2016

As a little girl in Ringwood, Natasha Barnes dreamt of becoming a West End star… here she talks to Peter White about how her dreams came true this summer when she stepped in to the role of Fanny Brice

Read more
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New figures have revealed there was a 28% increase of hate crimes in Hampshire in June compared to the same time last year. Is Brexit to blame, or were we like this all along? Alice Cooke asks

Read more
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Chris is finally ready to come out of the wood shed and share his deep-rooted obsession with the world

Read more
Thursday, September 15, 2016

There really is a magical alchemy in creating stained glass...

Read more
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The new Mercedes Benz CLS 400 hits the sweet spot with grace and pace says Mark Whitchurch

Read more
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

He has the nation eating out of his hand (of flowers) with his down to earth cooking and jovial manner. Rebecca Fletcher talks loving local produce with Tom Kerridge on his recent trip to Lime Wood

Read more
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

There are many important questions which are hotly debated in rural communities like the Meon Valley. Affordable homes for young families. Protecting our environment. Dealing with the impact of traffic on our roads.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Hampshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Hampshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search