by Kim Micke
MAKING chocolate for a living would sound like a dream come true to most people.
For Heavenly Chocolate owners Anthony, Glenys and Tash Bamberry that dream has become reality.
The family from Brisbane first visited the chocolate shop and hobby farm one year ago.
They said they knew the business was for sale and fell in love with it as soon as they saw it.
"We saw this (place) on a website so we decided we book a viewing of it,” Mr Bamberry said.
"Once we saw it, we (knew) it was us.”
He said his family fell in love with Stanthorpe itself.
"I like the people and the community, we really liked it straight away,” he said.
"(Our visitors) always say they just can't get over how friendly this district is.”
Mr Bamberry said the real estates agents they dealt with were genuinely concerned about their well being and how much they would spend which, he said, you wouldn't get in the city.
On November 29, the Bamberries took over the shop and the three cottages and now, more than seven months later, they have started making their own chocolates.
The family does not have a chocolatier background but has worked mainly in retail over the past years.
Mr Bamberry said former owner and family friend Alba Conti went to a lot of trouble to make the house and the cottages so comfortable and lovely.
The family bought the tempering machine and all original mouldings from Mrs Conti to be able to make their own hand-made chocolates.
Mr Bamberry said lot of people thought they made everything themselves which, he said, wouldn't be viable for the little shop.
”They think it's a chocolate factory but no one would set a chocolate factory up out here, it is just too far away from everything,” he said.
The chocolate shop's main supply comes from a place in Melbourne.
”We just had a delivery the other day and it was 60kg,” Mr Bamberry said.
He said the very first batch of chocolate they made was pink lemonade chocolate, which was the idea of one of their customers.
"We temper and make chocolates normally three nights a week.”
”Normally in a batch we can do anywhere from probably one to seven kilos.”
Their home-made extra-dark pomegranate chocolate and Butterscotch Pryramid are now one of their biggest sellers.
The Bamberries, who use Australian chocolate for their home-made chocolates, have extended the range of chocolate offered in the shop from about 15 to 58, 12 of which are home-made.
"I hope to extend that range up to about 25,” Mr Bamberry said.
The family is looking at new chocolate flavours including peanut butter jelly cup, caramel citrus and stout chocolate.
”The other thing we are considering is making one of the rooms a chocolate room... with three or four different chocolate machines running,” he said.
”It would give people an idea of how we make chocolates.”
"(I enjoy), one, the diversity of the business and, two, that my job nowadays is just to meet nice people all day, that's really our biggest job.
"We get to share this place with the people that come.”