Chocolate by Josie - bringing the sweet life to Southport
PUBLISHED: 15:19 23 November 2011 | UPDATED: 21:28 04 February 2016
We meet a woman from Southport who has turned her hobby into a delicious business. Amanda Griffiths reports PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON
Josie Morris doesn’t spend much time in sweet shops and with very good reason. The kitchen of her home in Southport forms the production line for her own unique brand of chocolates.
‘It was a hobby that got out of control,’ laughs Josie, who has always been a excellent cook, making bread and jams and treating the family to homemade truffles at Christmas.
‘When my eldest son got married in 2002 he asked me if I would make chocolates as favours for the wedding,’ she adds.
They went down well with the guests and a few years later her husband put her name down for a chocolate-making course as a Christmas gift.
Josie trained as a chemist, but after raising a family she worked in market research. When contracts started to dry up she decided to
start selling handmade chocolates at farmers’ markets. She started at
Burscough market in 2009 and it just grew from there.
Josie’s chocolates are now much in demand, with people arriving at her
regular markets to stock up and she is a speaker at numerous ladies’ groups and charity events, where she’ll demonstrate her art.
‘I love doing the demonstrations and I’ll speak for as long as they want me to,’ she says.
‘The only thing I won’t do now is the summer shows because typically they’re in a marquee - heat and chocolate really don’t mix!’
Josie uses Belgian chocolate, which she describes as ‘a bit more expensive, but it tastes better, too.’
Her range includes boxes with centres including orange, strawberry and praline, all of them finished off with Josie’s unique stamp – edible transfer patterns made from cocoa butter.
‘I also make a range of things for kids and loose chocolates,’ she says. ‘I think people at gatherings like farmers’ markets want something loose they can dig into rather than a box of chocolates to carry around with them.
‘I make mini chocolate pizzas and lollipops, chocolate mice and dinosaurs, hearts and posh chocolate drops with those transfers on.
‘They’re what make my chocolates stand out from the crowd I think.’
However, Josie’s best seller, and one of her specialities is her raspberry
chocolate bars, where freeze dried raspberries have been set into the
chocolate. ‘I’ve tried it with other fruit too, but raspberries seem to go down the best,’ she says.
As well as her standard ranges Josie can also be commissioned for various projects, creating chocolate birds as a treat for a pigeon fancier’s 70th birthday as well as a chocolate wedding cake for her second son’s wedding.
And although Josie always has a supply of chocolates in the house she’s decidedly reserved when it comes to eating it.
‘I try to package it as soon as I can, partly for hygiene reasons but also so I can’t be tempted to eat it,’ she laughs. ‘I leave quality control down to my sons and grandchildren these days. But it is nice knowing there’s
always some there, just in case.
‘I don’t think I’ve bought a bar of chocolate from the shop since I started
the business. It doesn’t taste as nice any more. In fact, we gave my younger grandson a shop-bought chocolate bar the other day and he wouldn’t eat it because it didn’t taste as good as mine!’
There’s no higher praise than that.
The print version of this article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Lancashire Life
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