We are celebrating this week , the 10 years of Continuum Conceits chocolates.
Back in September 2013, which you will know as you have read the About page, Barry and l got asked by the Grapevine in Kington if we wanted a stall at the Kington fair in December, and we thought of various things to make, including crafts. Being very much into glass beads, l wanted to sell beaded light pulls and pendulums, which l made, and Barry was going to make other crafty things, including peg fairies for the trees and other decorations.
I suggested to make a few chocolates, but, having had a word with the council, l realised that would be more work than just doing crafts as l needed a hygiene certificate, a Hassap plan, cleaning schedules, and the kitchen had to be assessed by the council and l had to do more writing about that.
This got done in October, as well as 100boxes of stuffed Armagnac purée prunes (not dipped in chocolate, just like they sell them in south west France, ) and I can’t believe we made 100boxes of assorted chocolates, 12 in a box. We made a certain amount of those. Possibly 100. I really thought chocolates could be/would sell like sliced bread.
After all this work setting the chocolates, seeing the first wagtail outside in the bird bath, deciding to adopt the bird as the chocolate and craft logo, as a link with my deceased mother, and deciding for a name Continuum Conceits (a mix of French influence from the continuum and English influences with Conceits, in the old fashioned sense of the word, ie, a baseless fancy, which Barry suggested and when he opened his grandmother’s dictionary, the page opened at Conceits and had a note at that page so l knew that was a sign to go ahead with Conceits.)
I like words, even if i don’t know many, and l wasn’t going to call my chocolate craft company something like #ChocoCrackPooYumyum, nor #DelishCaocaoTreat, nor #MyfavChocolala. Continuum Conceits was born.
The original wagtail label having been drawn and a rubber stamp made from it, ordered from a rubber stamp company in York (how very exciting !) the boxes of confections and also bags of marshmallows for which l had a fanciful phase for a few years, were out at the markets before the Kington show, and since we lived near Llandrindod wells, we started …#10yearsanniversary #chocolatebeginnings
our first market as part of the WI in Llandrindod wells, by the side of the Co-Op which was then, a ‘Safeway’.
How to describe the feeling of joy when a random passing customer would taste a sample, and buy a sachet or a box of chocolate or prunes? How exciting! Even if …most of the sales on the first market were actually from the Holliday cottage guests, which we had back in Penybont, as Barry had built a nice old looking cottage by the side of the property, which we rented.
Here are the first labels…
From that first year, l carried on experimenting with flavours, trying to get my writing better and my drawing skills which were in existent, polished up .
During that time, l was also studying plumbing (hence the 25 degree angle of the health-and-safety ladder on the drawing) but plumbing lost the favour, even though l was very much enjoying learning about pipes and central heating. l did start an apprentiship with a nice older gent plumber in Llandrindod whom everyone knew, called Dilwyn, and worked with him for a year but as it was not very well remunerated and l prefered working with chocolate than copper pipes, l left the apprentiship and never got my full plumbing approbation as l hadn't completed the work. Which is ok. l still have my plumbing certificate in the cupboard, which is as useful as a plank used for fire lighters.
However, time has come, 10 years today (well, this month) and how exciting l am now going to find Barry and we are going to celebrate the 10 years at the Riverside Inn in Aymestrey which some of you know, renouned for its good cuisine and l only have 10 minutes to get ready so l will leave you there, to enjoy your evening, hopefully you will be cosy and warm, and why not, have a celebration cup of tea while thinking of the Wagtail. If that isn't a bit cheeky of me to suggest. Blessings Alexandra