Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
My sweet dream came true
WILLY Wonka eat your heart out!
These delightful trees crammed full of sweets and chocolates are the creation of former teaching assistant Katherine Ashdown, who turned her love of chocolate into a lucrative business.
Katherine, 28, can create up to 100 sweet trees a month, ranging from the indulgent Ferrero Rocher to the sweet tang of flying saucers.
She first discovered her talent when she created a tree full of sweets for the third birthday of her daughter, Jessica, last September.
After proudly posting the finished product on Facebook, she started getting requests from friends and family. As word spread, she decided to give up her job as a teaching assistant to focus on expanding her unique business, Sweet Cheeks Trees.
Katherine, who lives off Lifstan Way, Southend, said: “It is a dream come true.
“I never thought when I made my first tree for my daughter it would become such a successful business.
“I first discovered them about ten years ago in America and I wanted to get one for my daughter, but could not find anywhere that made them in the UK.
“When I started, I made about ten a month but now I have perfected the technique and because I bulk buy all the sweets and chocolate I can make seven in a day.”
The mum-of-one juggles her time between creating sweet trees for birthdays, baby showers and christenings and coping with one of the most painful neurological conditions – cluster headaches.
She was diagnosed with the debilitating condition, which leaves sufferers in excruciating pain for up to an hour every day, in January this year.
As well as being on a cocktail of drugs to manage the condition, Katherine also has to ensure she has a canister of oxygen wherever she goes. Despite this, her company continues to grow and she is now taking orders from customers in Europe.
She has also been nominated as a finalist for the Essex Business Awards 2012, run by the Echo.
She added: “It has been such a hard year for me, especially because cluster headaches are the most painful condition known to man.
“To hear my little business I started and worked so hard doing has been acknowledged as being worthy is amazing.”
For more information visit www.sweetcheekstrees.co.uk
Comments are closed on this article.