Chocolatier puts her best foot forward

NADV 1302126AM2 Azra Sadiq. Handcrafted chocolate maker Azra Sadiq. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1302126AM2)

NADV 1302126AM2 Azra Sadiq. Handcrafted chocolate maker Azra Sadiq. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1302126AM2)

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Harrogate Mum of three, Azra Sadiq, combined her love of shoes and chocolatier knowledge to set up her online business in October.

Azra Chocolates sells a range of chocolate shoes as gifts, all of which are homemade fresh to order in Azra’s home kitchen.

She said: “The kitchen is closed all together for any other cooking when I’m making chocolate.

“Chocolate absorbs flavours too easily to have any other cooking going on in the kitchen. I won’t even let my husband boil the kettle for a cup of tea in case the temperature changes.”

Recently Azra said she has been rushed off her feet fulfilling Valentines Day orders, and expects the chocolate shoe collection to be a popular gift for Mother’s Day.

She also plans to exhibit at Harrogate Speciality Food Show and numerous wedding fairs, including one in Essex.

She said: “At the moment the business seems to be more popular in the South with 80 per cent of orders being shipped away. But I would love to attract more local customers too.”

Azra first discovered her talent for chocolate making whilst working in the Middle East as a teacher.

She said: “I had six weeks between jobs and just started reading up about it and experimenting.

“I was always keen on baking and cooking, we would often have bake sales in the school and other classes would sometimes have shop bought cakes, but not my class, I made sure they all cooked theirs from scratch.”

Azra went on to study with master chocolatiers in Belgium and in the UK.

She said: “I basically taught myself how to make chocolate.

“Lessons from chocolatiers helped me fill in the gaps but the chocolate I make is all from my own recipes.

“I don’t use preservatives or artificial ingredients which means the shoes only have a shelf life of about six months.”

Azra turned to Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate College’s Enterprise Gateway for support and advice before launching her business in October.

Manager of Harrogate College’s Enterprise Gateway Nigel Dakin said: “When Azra came to see me and showed me a shoe I thought she was making footwear.

“When I found out that this fabulous size three high-heeled shoe was made of chocolate and completely edible I was amazed. Along with the other products in her range Azra has created gifts with a real difference.”

Azra said: “I have tried to make them resemble classy and stylish shoes.

“They are completely my taste and style, I would wear them if I could.”

Azra hopes to expand her business in the future and sell a range of pralines and truffles, but at the moment she is happy running the small business with the help of her family.

Azra’s eldest son, 17-year-old Amaan helps his mother market the business online using social media whilst Azra’s 16-year-old daughter, Inayah, uses her creativity to help with the packaging.

Azra’s youngest son, 10-year-old Zakariya, tends to help with the tasting.

Azra said: “Everytime I’m making chocolate he says, ‘Mum make my favourite!’ so I know they must be good.”