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North East Exclusive  |  Life is Sweet  |  17 March 2008
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Willy Wonka she isn't. Jane trained under a Swiss master chocolatier.

Life is sweet, so sweet for chocolatier Jane Williams. She's the lady who's all sweetness and light, spreading joy wherever she goes, courtesy of her new gourmet, handmade chocolates.

The recipients of chocolatey joy currently include Newcastle United's St James Park, Wynyard Hall an Teeside and Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle, as well as delis and gift shops across the region. And the word is spreading all the time. Jane's creations include divine raspberry and rose truffles, franzipan, cinnamon toffee apple and praline creations as well as fudge.

I can't help noticing but Jane actually looks all chocolatey when we meet - dressed as she is in chocolate brown trowsers and jumper... must be in the genes. But Willy Wonka she isn't. Jane trained under a Swiss master chocolatier in Marlow, Buckinghamshire at a family-run tearooms and patisserie, spending some seven years there. Her travels through Europe in a quest to expand her chocolate experience have all given her the flavour for it.

Marriage brought her to the North East and led to the birth of her very own chocolate studio business, Davenport's Chocolates, which is based in North Shields.

"What could be nicer than having a chocolate studio to go to work in," says Jane, 30, who also lives in North Shields, and is originally from Stockton-on-Tees. "Chocolate is more than just a food. There are antioxidants in there which create happy feelings, the taste, the smooth texture, it's all very comforting." And knowing each box of chocolates is purchased probably as a gift for a loved one, and therefore bought with feeling, makes Jane very happy.

And the difference between her handmade chocolates and shop-bought are a world away. "The flavours are so much purer, with a lot less preservatives, and alot fresher. All the ingredients are the best of ingredients and my chocolates have a shelf life of three months compared with 18 months for many shop-bought."

It's all in the tasting... A large box of Davenport's Chocolates, containing 24, costs £15.95 and a small box £8.95.

Davenports | creative artisan chocolates