Ex media exec's artisan chocolates made in her West Hampstead kitchen
- Credit: Liza Green
Artisan chocolate maker Liza Green is, unsurprisingly, "incredibly busy" in the run up to Valentine's Day.
And festive occasions like Christmas also spell long hours, filling and hand decorating each jewel-like offering then posting them off to chocolate lovers.
But the former media executive has no army of staff or giant chocolate factory – she and her husband are a "two-man band", running the business from their West Hampstead kitchen with only a repurposed wine fridge, and table top tempering machine.
Belgium-born Liza jokes that "chocolate is in my blood" and says working with confectionary was a "lifelong dream" she realised during lockdown.
"I worked for the BBC for many years script reading and developing dramas, but I always loved cooking, especially anything to do with confectionary," she says. "When I was at school I used to revise in the morning and make chocolates in the afternoon. I'm half Belgian and would spend my holidays with my grandmother. I visited a local chocolate factory when I was 12 and thought 'this is amazing, I want to do this'."
Thoughts of confectionary took a backburner as she built a career and raised her son. Then when lockdown hit, she put herself through an online chocolate-making course.
"I was tinkering with the idea and started small scale at the school fair, then in lockdown I thought: 'This is going to drive me crazy. I need to occupy my time.'
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"I did a refresher course, started getting good feedback, built a website and it spiralled from there."
While her husband helps with admin, Liza pours her creativity and attention to detail into every chocolate, from developing her own recipes and turning the best seasonal ingredients into intense flavour explosions, to decorating the shells, swirls and hearts like miniature artworks.
The chocolates – flavoured with caramel, passion fruit, raspberry vodka or rose gin – have no additives and minimal use of sugar, so have a brief shelf life.
At top capacity, Liza can "crank out" 15 boxes of a week for "chocolate lovers who don't mind splurging out on something hand crafted, fresh and unique".
"Some say they are expensive but no two chocolates are the same. It's an artisan product. They don't keep for six months, you can't scale up production, so you can't sell them in Tesco, but I think you can tell you can tell with the flavour.
"It's something I really love doing I hope it carries on growing."
Liza Green's Valentine's Day box includes a decadent Marc de Champagne truffle. Her bestseller is six salted caramels for £9.99 or try The Full Selection for £18.99. Visit Lizagreenchocolates.co.uk