A chocolatier who makes edible fruit ‘bouquets’, has now launched a second business making luxury sweets.
Michael Maley has his gran to thank for his change in careers.
Sadly she suffers from dementia and when the former corporate training manager for a global blue chip company saw how she reacted to the smell of fresh fruit, he decided to make her a special hand-dipped chocolate fruit bouquet.
The 40-year-old spotted a gap in the market and in 2013 launched Strawberry Blooms.
However, he has now branched out into running chocolate workshops and, after coming second in the recent TestTown competition, he is opening a pop-up shop in the Howgate selling Maley’s Artisan Chocolates.
Michael, who gave up his day job last year to concentrate on his ‘blooming’ business, is holding his first seminar for eight to 16-year-olds this Saturday at his premises in Newhouse Business Park, Grangemouth. Adult classes and festive themed courses will also take place next month.
He has been helped to launch both businesses by Business Gateway Falkirk .
Michael said: “They helped secure the funding that allowed me to work with a web developer for both my websites, including adding product sizing options and a booking system that will save a lot of administration headaches.”
He added: “Falkirk Community Trust was my first wholesale customer – they helped not only to devise the brand but were the first to stock my product in Callendar House. As a result I’ve been inundated with enquiries from delis, coffee shops and local shops wanting to stock the range.
“Now with the Kelpies Visitor Centre open, it’s great to see my chocolate on sale there too and the pop-up shop will showcase the brand.”
To find out more visit www.strawberryblooms.co.uk or www.maleys.co.uk.