Question: What is your history, Mary?
A: I’m a New Jersey native who moved to Brevard in 2003. I had just remarried and my husband’s job was here in Melbourne. He has since retired.
Before becoming a chocolatier, I had a successful career in the banking industry. After leaving the bank, I attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Baking and Patisserie program in Orlando, graduating with honors in 2012. I then worked in a local restaurant as a pastry chef for several years, as well as in a private club.
Q: How did you get into the confections business?
A: I was interested in working with chocolate even before pastry school. I had a small tempering machine and a book on candy making and would work in my home kitchen.
While in school, one of my favorite classes was chocolate and candy making. My interest just kept growing from there. I started attending classes at the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago. Those classes showed me how much I really enjoyed working with chocolate and how artistic it can be. Each class led to more techniques and skills. After having an opportunity to work on designing custom chocolates for client at the restaurant, I knew I really wanted to focus on chocolate and other confections as well.
I saw an article in the newspaper about a commissary kitchen, and kept the contact information for TCS Foods for quite some time. Once I finally decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, I contacted Tim and Karen Shea (owners of TC Foods commissary kitchen). They guided me in acquiring all of the necessary licenses and permits and continue to be supportive.
Q: Signature confection?
A: My bonbons. My mold shape is a half sphere. Some people describe them as marbles. I like the simplicity of the round shape. My signature collection contains four flavors. Though the shape is the same, each flavor has its own color and design to complement the flavor inside.
Q: What can’t you do without in the kitchen?
A: My thermometer and an offset spatula. Working with chocolate is very challenging. Getting a proper crystallization is all about temperature, movement and time.
A: I have a large family. I’m the youngest of seven and I’ve been married to my husband David for 14 years. We have a blended family of four children and eight grandchildren, ages 16 to 1.
Both of my parents passed a number of years ago. My father was very creative. I first learned to bake from him. My mother was very family-oriented. She hosted a family dinner each week for anyone who could attend, that could be 15 or more of us, and she ways seemed to have a grandchild or two with her.
A: Most of my spare time is spent with my family. My husband and I have grandchildren who we enjoy spending time with. I also enjoy the beach, reading, tennis, and I still enjoy baking at home. Q: Three words that describe you? A: Driven, dedicated and passionate.
Q: What is in your bucket list?
A: To travel. I’d like to see the pyramids of Egypt and tulips in Holland, among other sights.
Q: Famous person you’d love to see eating some of your confections?
A: Audrey Hepburn.
Mary Storey Confections
Where: Products are available at Jacqueline’s Bakery and Café, 906 E. New Haven Ave., downtown Melbourne.
Web: marystoreyconfections.com, plus Facebook and Instagram
Of note: For the holiday season, Mary Storey Confections will feature decorated chocolate trees and ornaments filled with sweet surprises.
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