Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising
Twenty four year old Rachel Petrie is the owner of local business Poppy Chocs and Cake Confectioners. Here she talks to us about her award-winning sweet confections and the path that led her there.

1518861_10202862725637201_767037376_oBack when I was sixteen years old and still at school, I took a job at a local restaurant. While I was there I waited on tables and took on various jobs in the kitchen. I enjoyed the atmosphere of working in the kitchen environment so much that I decided I wanted to pursue a career in catering.

I then spent a year learning on the job; in the kitchens at my work place, and decided that I wanted to learn more so I enrolled at the Royal Forest of Dean College. There I studied hospitality and catering for 3 years and left college as a fully qualified and classically trained chef.

After college I took a job at the Bell at Skenfrith, making fresh bread and desserts. During this time I was introduced to the practice of hand-making the chocolates that were given to clients with their coffees. I really enjoyed making these sweet delights and came to the decision that this particular aspect of catering was the one that I wanted to focus on. After I’d made that decision, I went to work on a voluntary basis alongside a chocolatier and, during this time, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to make chocolates that were to be presented to the Queen.

After a period of internship I finally came to the conclusion that it was time to make my own chocolates from home and went to work to set up my business: Poppy Chocs and Cake Confectioners, making chocolates and celebration cakes with the help of my mother. While making chocolates I noticed a gap in the market for flavoured marshmallows and started to experiment with different recipes. Eventually I perfected a recipe for a raspberry mojito flavoured marshmallow, which I sent to the Great Taste Awards. I didn’t think I would win and was shocked when I received notification that I had won 2 gold stars (the highest being 3 gold stars). I was ecstatic to think that the judges had loved my product so much.

marshmallowsI’ll be selling my marshmallows, along with other sweet treats at Usk Christmas Market in December. You can also order cakes and sweet treats from us online via our Facebook page or by email or Telephone: 01291690983

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