WATCH ABOVE: Starting up your own business can take a lot of patience and hard work. But if it all pays off, it can be a life-changing achievement you’ll never forget, which is the case for a local chocolatier. Lisa Wolansky introduces us to the woman behind this sweet success story.
EDMONTON – When you think of chocolate, honey rosemary, lemon dill and salt and vinegar chip may not immediately come to mind. But those unique flavours are part of the reason why an Edmonton chocolatier is turning heads across the country and beyond.
“I have a Mediterranean bar right now. It’s not for everybody, but it has candied olives and sun-dried tomatoes in it,” said Rebecca Grant, owner of The Violet Chocolate Co.
Grant, who graduated from NAIT’s culinary program in 2008, says she sort of “fell” into working with the sweet treat when a job at a chocolate shop opened up. And she’s been in love with it ever since.
“It’s such a challenging medium to work with,” Grant said Sunday. “The littlest things can affect the chocolate. It’s very creative for me, which I love.”
While her business is still relatively young, Grant has received a few big nods over the past couple years. In 2013 her honey rosemary bar won gold at the Canadian National Chocolate Awards.
“Then 2014 rolled around and I was the biggest stress case because I thought I’d be a one hit wonder,” she explained.
But was she ever wrong. Grant submitted 14 entries that year, including the honey rosemary bar because thought it would be a “fail safe.”
“I ended up winning 10 out of the 12 items I submitted, which is unbelievable,” she humbly said.
Having taken so many top spots at the awards, Grant was able to compete at the world finals in London, England where she won three awards: two bronze for her pumpkin chai and rose mint bars and gold again for her honey rosemary bar. Grant was one of just two Canadians to win gold at the world finals.
“It’s very surreal,” she said with a smile. “You don’t expect it to happen three years in or two years in. I think it’ll take a really long time to actually put myself on the same level as all the other chocolate greats out there … but it’s amazing.”
Grant works out of a townhouse in southwest Edmonton, which she converted into a commercial kitchen. She sells her chocolate bars and treats at local farmers markets and in 15 shops across Alberta.