6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Hampshire Life 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.


Chocoholic
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.

0 comments

More from People

Fri, 11:30

Bluebird Care, the UK’s leading high quality home care provider was officially opened by the Mayor of the Test Valley at a launch party at their new office on London Street, Andover on 22 April.

Read more
Steve Poole

Celebrity photographer Steve Poole has shot everyone from Dame Helen Mirren to Rod Stewart. Now living life at a slower pace in Lymington, he shares some of his career highs… and lows

Read more
Monday, April 13, 2015
Food sorting with Trussell Trust Foodbanks

Can you spare just one day a month to do something selfless? Hampshire has hundreds of volunteering projects: from helping out at a homeless shelter; to growing veg in the grounds of a grand stately home. Natalie French finds out more about some of the organisations that need your help

Read more
Monday, April 13, 2015
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The next general election in the UK takes place on Thursday 7 May 2015. We’ve put together a handy Hampshire guide to polling day; including candidates for each constituency and the results from 2010.

Read more
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Getty Images/Creatas RF

Chris van Schaick is walking back to happiness this month as he discovers he can enjoy his favourite sport at a slightly more laid back pace

Read more
Monday, March 23, 2015

With the remains of a student overdraft and no previous experience, Madeleine Harley took the plunge and set up her own marshmallow business in Lymington

Read more
Monday, March 23, 2015
Sir Michael Colman

After retiring from the family’s famous condiments business, Sir Michael Colman’s passion for English peppermint has seen his farm near Basingstoke turn over a new leaf. Viv Micklefield gets invited in for a cuppa

Read more
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Susan Calman - photo by Steve Ullathorne

Fresh from the successful first leg of her debut tour, the multi award-winning Susan Calman takes her hit show Lady Like back on the road this spring.

Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

After getting her big break as Dr Tara Lo in Holby City, Southampton’s rising star Jing Lusi is leaving Hampshire behind and heading for the Hollywood Hills

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2015
Elizabeth Hurley (Photo by Nathan Cox/Getty Images)

Celebrities and other famous figures who went to school in Hampshire

Read more
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Getty Images/iStockphoto

A select group of businesses in North Hampshire have been chosen by local residents to feature in a concierge-style book, known as “North Hampshire’s Little Gems”.

Read more
Monday, March 9, 2015
David Gower

On Friday 15 May at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton you can hear cricket legend and former England captain David Gower in conversation with BBC South Today’s Sally Taylor MBE.

Read more
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Charles Lutyens

From powerful portraits, to carefree landscapes, Overton artist Charles Lutyens is an interesting personality who adds meaning to his creations says Sandra Smith

Read more
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

After giving up her career to start a family, Fiona Whitehead thought her time in employment was over – that was until a TV programme inspired her to turn her hobby in to a booming business

Read more

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP



Hampshire's trusted business finder
subscription ad

subscription ad