Continuum Conceits is a one person venture (Alexandra Pechabadens) for the time being, with the help of Barry in busy times.
The confections are made from the dedicated chocolate kitchen in the barn, as well as the confectionery stock, handwriting labels, drawings and artwork, sewing and some of the printing.
Don’t you also get inspired when you meet creative people? I certainly do, creativity makes me really happy!
The products made here are of the “boutique confectionery and chocolates” kind, everything is hand crafted; I also have the joy to work with gorgeous trimmings and fabrics to present them, and the enjoyment of doing the drawings, which have evolved in 9 years of business.
Continuum Conceits / French Chocolates - the achievements
I am proud to be a self-taught confectioner. To be fair, in 2007, my god-father offered me a 2 hour walk-in workshop as a birthday present, with a very renommé chocolatier in Burgundy: Chocolaterie Dufoux. (Does that count as “professional training”?)
The workshop was very impressive and inside his very glamorous Chocolaterie, were enormous pans of melted chocolates, already tempered. A few orange peels were dipped, a few cherries too and he did a nice speech, chocolates were of course eaten and plenty bought to take home.
Prior to that, I had already enjoyed making chocolate boxes and assortments for my friends and family, which had been done with much detail and had included crafty, hand-done drawings.
I started making chocolates professionally in 2013, a chance conversation at a local market availability that December which got me to make the confectionery again, which also got me starting selling at the WI market in llandrindod,and Kington.
Alexandra Pechabadens @Hampton Court Castle fair, Herefordshire, December 2015.
Since then I have steadily built a loyal and much appreciated following of chocolate lovers, both at the local markets and online.
The kitchen is assessed by the local Herefordshire authorities and has been granted a 5 out of 5.
The first chocolate box collection made in 2003, only for very few family members and friends. The red tiger cloth bag, as well as being terribly unsightly, (which made it funny) had been sewn shut, and was very hard to open in a rush, which is always hilarious to watch. The pleasure of opening it lasts longer!!! Try it!!
In August 2021 a big event happened for Continuum Conceits: warned about my product by a very good new customer, Annalisa Barbieri reviewed 3 of the chocolate products in an article that was printed in the Observer's Sunday magazine, and is now visible on the Guardian's website. She reviewed the Agen prunes, the fig pistachio and cardamom, and the coffee, date and hazelnut.
This changed the business for the better: as it was during the flu pandemic, it helped enormously.
In January 2022, she also reviewed one of my bars, the ile-de-Ré salted caramel.
In October 2022, she is reviewing for the 3d time another of my products! (no link yet!!)
It has been very humbling and wonderful to be recognised by such a chocolate connoisseur.
Origins of the company name, Continuum Conceits:
Continuum: n. Kon-tin-yew-um Sequence, unbroken link.
Conceits: n. Kon-seets, (in old English) Conception, opinion; a baseless-fancy, a pleasant and ingenious, generally whimsical, notion.
By this name, my wish is to carry on the link between generations; wanting to establish a stronger energetic connection made from respect and care to those before, and those after us whilst remembering enjoyable traditions and creativity. To create something frivolous and pleasurable for the senses and entice creative thoughts in others, is plain joy.