International Confectionery sits down with Bev Stephenson, Owner of North’s Chocolates, to learn more about her first job and favourite book.
What attracted you to this industry?
The creativity, the skill set, the drama and, heck, last but not least, the taste.
What was your first job?
Flogging eggs! Three hours in a van every Wednesday night – hardly thrilling for a 13-year-old…
What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?
I love walking or gardening but sometimes I’m secretly delighted if it’s chucking it down and blowing a hooley so I can do a bit of cooking, listen to a podcast then feet up with the cats for a little TV action.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from someone?
‘Big does not necessarily mean better.’ As a small business I’m forever told to scale up, hire (more) staff and outsource production which totally defeats the purpose of setting up an artisan business. I like autonomy and hate paperwork and often the bigger you get the higher your in-tray.
Do you have a favourite book or film?
A book by PG Wodehouse – ‘What Ho Jeeves’. The man is a comedy genius.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Impatient, cat-loving, optimistic.
Who or what inspires you?
I get inspiration from everything around me from nature to TV to magazines to going to an exhibition – a flavour combination, a pantone colour, an idea for new photography.
Who would you meet, living or dead?
Norah Balls – born in the North East she, along with her perhaps better-known pals Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison, fought for women’s voting rights over 100 years ago. Without her and her fellow suffragettes, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.
If you could travel back in time, what period would you go to and why?
I think I’d be alongside Norah fighting the good fight.
What’s a saying you live your life by?
‘Treat others as we would want them to treat us.’
To read more see our latest issue here.