Jane Williams (nee Davenport) has worked as a professional chocolatier since September 2000. She has travelled extensively throughout Europe, gleaning much from a wider European dedication to chocolate. Not only has she visited various chocolatiers and exhibitions in the course of her work, she has also previously lived in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Extremely passionate and dedicated to chocolate, Jane tells how she became a chocolatier:
A passion for chocolate has been a thread running through my life.
My father’s job took us to Switzerland for a couple of years during my childhood, and I developed an appreciation of their silky smooth milk chocolate. My childhood treats were ‘branche’ – a milk chocolate praline bar with crunchy nut fragments on the outside. Back in England my parents would let me ‘play’ in the kitchen on my own from the age of about 6, creating weird and wonderful concoctions which they dutifully ate! As a young girl, my mother taught me to bake and cook, and I would be quite happy to cook for the family at the age of 12. Soon I wanted more of a challenge, and my mother found me a ‘confectionery’ book which I would spend hours pouring over and deciding what to make next. Toffees, fudges, jellies, truffles, marshmallows – nothing seemed impossible. I also managed to get hold of some chocolate moulds, and now I could create sophisticated looking chocolates of my own – a proud achievement for any young girl!
I launched ‘Davenports Chocolates’ in September 2007, refurbishing a factory unit to become a high spec chocolate studio. The business is named after my maiden name, which my family have been very proud to see become established as a chocolate company.
The creation of Davenport’s Chocolates is an amazing opportunity to experiment and develop new ideas, whilst having the skills and recipes that have stood the test of time at my fingertips.
Today Davenport’s Chocolates is something I am immensely passionate about, and thankful for. I realize only too well that not everybody gets the opportunity to do something they love. With the support of my husband, we are able to create chocolates which we believe stand out as a very unique product in the market today. We hope you will enjoy them as much as we do!