My name is Sarah, I’m 46 years old.
I’m married to Michael and we have a beautiful little boy called Alfie, who also has a keen interest in chocolate (EATING), or as he puts it choc choc, I feel like I have created a chocolate eating monster at times.
I started Sarah’s Creative Kitchen back in Jan 2016, after taking voluntary redundancy from my job in the city, and my main focus was on healthy eating, cooking and recipe sharing, which I still do via my own personal facebook and instagram page.
Hold on though…..Lets take you right back to the start of my journey, and it starts in 2015, I had just given birth to my son, and knew that I wanted to be fit and healthy for him, especially being an older parent. I was on a mission to eat myself thin, with the main focus on cooking healthy food and thinking of ways to make my sweet treats a little more exciting to eat and pretty on the eye as well, plus to make them lower in sugar and calories than those you found in the shops.
In 2015-2016 I started to blog each day on a facebook page, just food to start with, simple photos each day, then people started to like my page and ask me for recipes, so then I started to take more interest in it. I then thought to myself…maybe I could start running food demo classes, I mean how hard could it be… So I spent the next few weeks researching what I needed. I completed my Level 1 & 2 in Food Hygiene, completed a diploma online in Personal Nutritional and registered my property with the local Council to undertake an inspection on my home. The company registration took affect on 16th January 2016, where I decided if I was going to do this properly I would set up a Limited Company from the start, and in all honesty the company was originally set up to do food demos.
To start with I run small themed events, where no more than eight people would come along, watch me cook healthy versions of takeaways and then eat all the food I had made, plus as a bonus I created recipe cards as well for them to take home, which my friend Stephanie helped me do. Then all of a sudden late in 2016 I started to showcase my little chocolate treats on my page, and this gathered interest from fellow weight loss friends on my page, asking if I could post out, which at the time I didn’t do, so instead I decided to attend a School Fair in Hadleigh, which followed several Farmers Markets shortly after.
Instagram came along very quickly, and it started to play a huge part in my business, I learnt very quickly (over a Chinese meal) how to use it and what to post, it was slow to start with, but with time came my confidence and followers. I started to follow some big blogger accounts and decided to message them to see if I could send them some goodies to try out and if they truly liked them maybe do a little mention. What came next was what really put me out in the world of Chocolate making. I had three bloggers to start with that I would send goodies to, and within weeks I knew I had to create an online shop, which Michael helped me create, it was a basic shop, and everything that could go wrong with it did… It oversold, it crashed, it didn’t update stock, I can laugh now, but I certainly cried many tears in the early days. The first night we released approx 2000 packs, and they sold out straight away, it was mind blowing, but then reality hit me… Oh god this is bigger than just me now, I needed help, and that is when I decided from very early on to have staff help me, as remember I still had a baby to look after.
Like many of my customers, I understand the struggles of weight loss and maintaining those losses. Back between Sept 2015 – Sept 2016, I lost 68lbs by following Weight Watchers, and lots and lots of exercise each day.
In November 2017 I took a big leap of faith in my business and signed a 5 year lease on a big factory unit in Southend, which we moved into in Jan 2018 after spending two months building kitchens, cupboards, work areas to make it easier to have all the staff working still while I was not around and to reclaim my home, as it took over my home life for almost 14 months.
In July 2019, I took a gamble of taking on our second premises, but this one would be slightly different, more customer facing, and an Eatery, serving food choices from savoury to sweet options, and have the workshops transferred to the back workshop area. It was a tough project to bring up to a standard to gain a 5* Hygiene rating on it, and lots of cash injection, which we are still paying back to our personal savings and the original business.
We stock lots of gift ideas which can make great presents, and seasonal themed goodies and bespoke orders.
Most of my stock is made fresh to order, so basically when you see stock go live, we then make it after it sells, some orders can take up to 15 days to make and ship out, but that’s all explained in our Postal Service section on here. You can also buy from the physical shop as well, and details of the shop can be found on our EATERY WEBSITE.
I am registered with the Local Authority and have a 5* Hygiene Rating, fully insured, I also have level 1, 2 and 3 in food hygiene and safety. My staff are all trained to either Level 1 or 2, apart from Izzy with Level 3.
I am looking to expand externally to have shops stock our chocolate as well, but this is taking some time as we want to get it right from day one with the products we sell via stockists. Our factory lease is up in September 2022, so we will use as a storage area at this time for packaging, boxes and seasonal products.
If you have access to Instagram, you will see lots of posts of chocolate, my family, my meals, me and the team, we post each day and I do love a live story, with over 108k followers, we like to keep things fresh each day.
I make lots of different types of chocolates, from bite sized chocolate shapes, discs, bars and truffles and much more. As well as making to sell, I run masterclasses at my shop, dates are published on my Eatery website when available.
Thank you for popping by to say hello and I hope to be able to make chocolates for you very soon. You can find all my products to buy, under the BUY CHOCOLATE home page disc, and there are several different allergy categories as well to help you decide, from vegan, vegetarian, products made with gluten free foods, white, milk, banana, strawberry and dark chocolates. We do always mark all our products with may contain all the allergy groups of foods we stock and make on site as well.