Our next business focus feature takes a look at new Orkney Food and Drink member 'Peedie Chocs and Desserts'. Sarah-Louise Drever's enterprise offers high quality and delicious chocolates, truffles and fudges - and this is just the beginning.
Everyone has a sweet tooth.
And even those that think they don’t will soon change their minds once they try some of the delicious goodies produced by one of Orkney Food and Drink’s newest members, Peedie Chocs and Desserts.
Sarah-Louise Drever is the talented chef behind the business, which she launched in 2013. After gathering experience and qualifications in Orkney, Aberdeen, London and Norway, Sarah-Louise returned to the islands determined to get creative with chocolate.
‘I’ve always loved cooking but I have a seafood allergy, so I moved away from main courses and began focusing on pastries,’ said Sarah. ‘I just really took to making chocolates and desserts, you’ve got to have a lot of patience with them but you can do so much in terms of look, design and flavour.’
Run from her own kitchen, Peedie Chocs and Desserts sees Sarah-Louise create a huge range of truffles, fudges and different flavours of chocolates. Word is spreading about the quality of her products too, as a recent appearance at Orkney’s main agricultural shows highlighted.
‘I decided to attend the Dounby and County Shows this year after joining Orkney Food and Drink. I made nearly 1,000 bags of truffles and fudge and by the end of County Show Day they were all gone,’ said Sarah. ‘Since then I’ve had so many orders and I’ve even been sending bags to places like London and Spain!’
Some of her most popular creations include Smoked Sea Salt Caramel, Toffee Nut and Praline and Hazelnut. She also produces cupcakes and larger cakes for special occasions as well.
Orkney’s larder plays an important role for the business too. Sarah-Louise has been working with the Orkney Wine Company recently to make truffles based on their products, and her collaboration with the Orkney Gin Company is creating quite a stir as well.
‘Throughout my career I’ve always wanted to use local produce. I’ll be working with local honey and fruit producers in the future too to experiment with new flavours and textures,’ said Sarah. ‘There is so much quality to choose from in Orkney and I think it’s really important to highlight that as much as possible.’
It has been a busy few months for Peedie Chocs and Desserts and you can now find some of the products in shops and stores around Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and further afield. Sarah-Louise openly admits it’s hard work at times, but the reaction she gets from customers makes it worthwhile.
‘I use my Facebook page to promote the business and I welcome all reviews there, good or bad,’ she said. ‘When you get a good one it’s just so welcoming and you can’t help but feel chuffed. It makes all the long nights cooking and hours spent packing more than worth it.’
The plans for the business don’t stop there, though. Sarah-Louise’s dream is to open Orkney’s first patisserie, offering afternoon teas along with the full Peedie Chocs and Desserts range.
Armed with her creativity, talent and rave reviews, you wouldn’t put it past her.
Find out more about Peedie Chocs and Desserts via the Orkney Food and Drink website.