Woman from Wick turns her hobby into a successful career
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A Caithness woman who has transformed her career - and home - in the past four years has been recognised for her innovation and graft by her local community.
Mandy Boydell started CC Chocolatier alongside her husband Ged Boydell in 2019, after she had the chance to cook for royalty as the head chef at the Castle of Mey. It was from there her love for delicious treats and cakes was discovered and so CC Chocolatier was founded.
A gap in the market for home-made and locally sourced ingredients meant the business was soon on its way to becoming a recognised name. This has now been boosted even further after winning the young business award in the micro category at the Caithness Chamber of Commerce Awards.
Speaking about what this means to her, Mandy said: “I was absolutely delighted and so surprised to have won the award. It was a total shock for me and I was totally gobsmacked when they called our name.
“We started in 2019, and I was doing workshops with people on how to make artisan chocolate and we were getting really busy. When the lockdown happened I commandeered my husband’s man cave and transformed it into my big kitchen and then an afternoon tea room.”
Having been a hairdresser previously, founding CC Chocolatier was a brand new venture for Mandy, who was able to turn a hobby into a living.
She now offers afternoon teas, classes and creates artisan chocolate to sell and for corporate events.
Speaking about her business journey and what she’s learned over the past four years, she said: “I’ve learned that I can build something out of nothing with hardly any money. We hunted around charity shops for all the stuff we needed, and thankfully we managed to get a grant during Covid, which enabled us to buy patio doors for the tea room.
“Covid really taught us a lot, but I think everyone learned something during this time.”
Since winning the award, CC Chocolatier has firmly been put on the map, and Mandy has received orders from big to small companies across the north of Scotland.
“We’ve had lots of enquiries lately,” she said, “people have come in to do workshops, afternoon teas, and we have received our biggest order to date from a business that was at the Caithness Chamber Awards.
“We are also now gearing up for Christmas, and we are already starting to think about what we are doing for Valentine’s Day.”
She concluded: “I feel very lucky to do the job I do, and I feel honoured to have found something that I enjoy doing.”