COVID-19 brought uncertain times economically and personally for many small business owners. Sheona Scott had to shut her former business down for 10 weeks.
"It was such a weird time," said Scott. "For the first couple of weeks I scrambled [trying to make things work], but realized what I was doing was not sustainable."
That's when the word “pivot” became common vernacular for many business folks, meaning having to do a 180 with their business model and try something new.
"I was looking for pâtisserie classes but found a five-month chocolatier course," said Scott. "It went really well and I finished top of my class with honours."
One of the first things she learned in the French chocolatier tradition was that what she was making was called a bonbon.
"To do a proper job you can't make too small of an amount, the smallest amount was 56 bonbons," said Scott. "I ended up with hundreds of them in my basement and began giving them away to businesses I frequented."
Scott enjoyed the process of chocolate making and people in the qathet community started to ask where they could purchase her chocolate delights. Scott said the craft is like an art and a science.
"I have many different colours that I use, they come in bottles and look like paint, but it's actually chocolate cocoa butter," said Scott. "I’m a hairdresser by trade, I’m artsy and I like to cook, so [chocolate making] combines all those things."
Currently her business is home-based, with plans to open a small retail space in the new year. The chocolatier was voted Best in Show at a recent local artisan and entrepreneur show, hosted by Coastal Women in Business. Scott has trained under a few expert chocolatiers and recently spent time in France taking another course in chocolatiering.
"It’s always a bit of a surprise what the [bonbons] will look like," said Scott.
She mentioned that the most important part, to create a shiny bonbon, is to have a clean, polished mould.
"I like [making chocolate] because it has to be exact, you have to be patient, and it forces you to slow down, you can’t rush it; for me it is a good thing," said Scott. "If you get any of the steps wrong along the way it won't turn out."
Scott likes the joy her bonbons seem to bring to people even if they don't like chocolate. Some have commented that her creations look like jewels or little planets, and some have even mentioned they look too good to eat.
"I don't agree," said Scott. "You admire it, then you eat it; at the end of the day my end goal is for [the chocolate] to be delicious."
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