Jacqueline Smith has always loved chocolate. As a child it was all she wanted to eat – her parents were told she would grow out of it – but she hasn’t – and she loves everything about chocolate.
One day she saw a brochure about luxury chocolates and was so enthralled her husband bought her a training course on making chocolates as a Christmas present – and Nova Chocolates was born. Jackie converted a room in her house into a chocolate studio where she makes her unique hand-crafted chocolates. She creates all the designs herself and chocolates are kept in a temperature-controlled storage room.
She sells her chocolates to gift shops and at craft fairs and she also creates bespoke chocolates for special occasions. A few years ago, she was approached at one of the craft fairs and asked if she would do a talk about chocolate. Public speaking was not an area Jackie was familiar with but, as it was for a charity, she said she would give it a go. She did 3 talks in that first year which has increased to 54 talks in 2015.
Chocolate is not all about indulgence. Jackie talks about the history of chocolate and the different types. Amazingly chocolate has some health benefits. The cocoa in chocolate contains nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels around the heart and helps to stop platelets sticking to artery walls; it has antioxidant and anti-inflamatory properties, it lowers levels of leukotriene helping to ease the inflammation of arthritis. A study in America has found links to eating a bit of chocolate every week that can help you live longer. It releases natural endorphins and has been linked to increased mental ability in children and adults.
Jackie also told us some interesting chocolate related facts – horses love it but it has been banned in horse racing as the theobromine it contains is thought to make race horses run faster.
Chocolate was instrumental in the discovery of the microwave – Percy Spencer, an American self-taught engineer, noticed that microwaves from an active radar set he was working on started to melt a chocolate bar he had in his pocket.
So chocolate is not just for Easter and Christmas, it’s a pick-me-up at any time of year. A little of what you fancy does you good and if you are counting the calories, it’s an incentive to do some exercise and then really savour the enjoyment of the luxurious taste of truly amazing hand-crafted chocolate.
For a special birthday present – or some truly amazing Easter Eggs, you can contact Jackie on 01952 610540 or at [email protected]