HALF PRICE SALE 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

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from People

Yesterday, 16:32

Former cartoonist and Southampton man Toni Goffe doesn’t take life too seriously, but there are as many layers to his work as there are on his canvasses says Sandra Smith

Read more
Mon, 10:38

Every year our Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance crew attend to thousands of people who need help. Here we meet some of those working and volunteering for the charity who make it so special

Read more
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Getty Images/iStockphoto

This month, Chris van Schaick discusses why it is that businesses are so desperate to ask...’’How was it for you?”

Read more
Monday, July 20, 2015
Martin Freeman (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

Some of Hampshire’s best known personalities have revealed what they most love about the county. Here, we compile some quotes from our interviews over the years

Read more
Monday, July 13, 2015

From his home on the Isle of Wight, Sam Twining reflects on his family’s dynasty over a cup of tea with Peter White

Read more
Monday, July 13, 2015

Britain’s farmers are an amazing lot. They come in all shapes and sizes, from every age group and all types of backgrounds. But what connects them all is the incredible lengths they will go to in the name of farming and to support their local communities.

Read more
Friday, July 10, 2015
Moyles Court School Las Vegas Summer Ball

A Laz Vagas-themed summer ball held at Moyles Court School raised £1,190 towards a great outdoor learning project.

Read more
Monday, June 29, 2015

Viewing Portsmouth born artist Louise Braithwaite’s work is akin to re-living the jolliest days of your childhood says Sandra Smith after a recent introduction

Read more
Thursday, June 18, 2015

Having become editor of the village news, Margot hopes residents will be bowled over by her next issue

Read more
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Elodine Dress, £140, Phase Eight, Southampton, 02380 216400 and Winchester, 01962 866964

Fashion finds for your top three summer events

Read more
Monday, June 15, 2015
The Ben Ainslee Racing Team training in the Solent. Picture: Shaun Roster

For 164 years, the America’s Cup has been the carrot dangling out of reach for many British sailing teams. For 2015 it will be returning to Portsmouth, and with it comes our best chance in years of bringing it back to the UK where it belongs. Dan Wilkinson explains more

Read more
Monday, June 15, 2015
Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s been a real privilege to be involved in the BBC Food and Farming Awards this year. Once again the UK’s finest farmers, food producers, cooks, shopkeepers, food vendors and campaigners came together to honour the best in their respective businesses. I’ll talk more about the awards themselves next month but this time it’s the backdrop to the ceremony I want to concentrate on.

Read more
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

There are few country estates that ignite the sense of discovery better than Mottisfont. As best-selling children’s writer and illustrator Lauren Child prepares to bring Charlie, Lola and other characters out to play this summer, Viv Micklefield opens a door into her world

Read more
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Karl Rudziak

With his bold portraits, Portsmouth artist Karl Rudziak has the potential to dilute prejudices and re-evaluate attitudes in a city that doesn’t need culture

Read more

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP



subscription ad
subscription ad
Hampshire's trusted business finder