CHRISTMAS OFFER 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.

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.


Shop with us at Great British Life

More from People

Piper Maxi Dress, £169, Monsoon, Southampton, 02380 829202; Winchester, 01962 841617; Whiteley, 01489 570220 and Eastleigh, 02380 652772

That 70s show is here to stay so layer up and stay cool man

Read more
Yesterday, 16:29
Colin and carers

It is often perceived that when someone needs care, their care needs increase as their health deteriorates. Here we tell a moving story where Colin from Alresford was helped back onto his feet following a life threatening accident that could happen to anyone of us…

Read more
Mon, 15:22
Mary Berry and fellow Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood. (Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon)

Millions tune in to see the Queen of Baking share her culinary wisdom each week on The Great British Bake Off – but how much do you really know about judge and food writer Mary Berry?

Read more
Friday, October 2, 2015
Lauren Cohan by Gage Skidmore under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence ( via

Universities in Hampshire have taught a number of students who eventually went on to find fame in the future. Some slightly more left field than others...

Read more
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Valerie Singleton

2015 sees the return of the Hampshire Life Food & Drink awards for the 10th year, and it is set to be the biggest yet. Taking place at The Elvetham Hotel, Hartley Wintney on Wednesday, November 25, 6:30pm – midnight

Read more
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This month, Chris van Schaick leafs through the dictionary to find the zombie words of the English language

Read more
Friday, September 11, 2015
Dee finishing the Vendee Globe in 2009

Walking her Springer along Titchfield’s leafy lanes, Dee Caffari reminisces about her huge sailing achievements… but insists she is not ready to retire yet and has her sights set on The Americas Cup says Peter White

Read more
Monday, September 7, 2015
Lynes Mead is a contemporary property with the appearance of a classic New Forest house

Charlotte Woodward is living the dream in the New Forest. She chatted to Emma Caulton from the home she built with her husband

Read more
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Tracy Thew set up the Fish Wives three years ago - photo by Jason Allen

Women across Hampshire are becoming hooked on a new pastime, Claire Pitcher spent the day with the self named ‘Fish Wives’ to find out what was reeling them in

Read more
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Helen McGinn, author of The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club, has helped to inspire a new breed of wine drinkers. We sent Rebecca Fletcher to her New Forest hideaway to where it all started

Read more
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Owen Calvert-Lyons

Eastleigh Film Festival takes over the town next month, transforming every-day venues into unique film screenings. Natalie French speaks to Owen Calvert-Lyons, Artist Director of The Point, Eastleigh & The Berry Theatre to find out more

Read more
Monday, August 17, 2015
Getty Images/iStockphoto

This month, Chris van Schaick ponders the dominance of the scatter cushion and their slow take over of hotel rooms and homes across Hampshire

Read more
Monday, August 10, 2015

Revelling in the success of Southampton’s newest festival, Common People, Radio DJ and organiser Rob Da Bank confirms it will be back for 2016 when he met with Peter White

Read more
Monday, August 10, 2015
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ever paid a fine you thought you didn’t deserve? Alice Cooke looks in to the unnecessary charges being demanded the width and breadth of the county

Read more

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Hampshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search