As everyone knows you can never have too much chocolate so once again Barbara Forster of Sweetly Speaking will be presenting on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage. Her beautiful chocolate creations and the heavenly smell of chocolate can be experienced on Thursday July 9th and Friday July 10th at 2PM. Sweetly Speaking was the recipient of the 2015 Top Choice Award – Mark of Excellence.
For a full list of presenters on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage please visit the Western Showcase website.
Calgary Stampede (CS): Briefly tell us about yourself and what your typical day looks like.
Barbara Forster: I am the owner of Sweetly Speaking Inc. We are a chocolate company that really specializes in the corporate market and we make custom molds using the corporate logos of our clients. We make a higher end Belgian chocolate and each of our orders is considered a custom order where we put together a package that the client wants. We also think outside the box and stay away from traditional chocolates – no ganaches, no truffles.
When we are not doing the logo’d products we just have fun- Dipped Licorice, Dipped Oreos, Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Squares, Wonky Marshmallows – all sorts of fun stuff.
A typical day for me is never typical – I might be contacting new prospective clients in the corporate sector or I might be meeting with existing clients or I could be in the kitchen making the product or I might be designing a wrapper or working with plaster and plastic making molds. Every minute brings something new, fun and different. I try to designate half my week to making the chocolate and half to sales and admin but it doesn’t always come out that balanced.
CS: When did you know you wanted to be involved in the food industry?
Forster: From the time I was 6 or 7 years old I dreamed of owning a tea shop or gift shop with food involved and it took a v-e-r-y long time for Sweetly Speaking to come into my life.
CS: What do you love about your job?
Forster: Oh my gosh – the creativity, the new people, the fun and innovative things that we are able to do working with our clients – the CHOCOLATE!!!! ( I am a certifiable chocoholic) There isn’t any one thing – I just love it all. It was very exciting when we were nominated for the Top Choice Award in 2013 – and then we won!! . Then we were nominated again this year and we won again for 2015 – that was amazing. Like I said, I love it all.
CS: Do you have a favourite memory of the Calgary Stampede or Kitchen Theatre?
Forster: For our first presentation which was also the centennial of the Stampede, I had one of my staff with me – Rosie Warby (then Calon) who is a graduate of the SAIT Pastry Arts program. She is incredibly talented and artistic and while I gave a presentation on the history of chocolate she quietly worked away on a chocolate showpiece. My favourite moment was when she turned the over 3 foot tall showpiece around and the audience got to see her amazing western themed creation. It literally took their breath away. The Kitchen Theatre actually kept the showpiece on display for the balance of the Stampede – that was so thrilling and a wonderful testament to Rosie’s talent.
CS: What will our audience see this year?
Forster: This year’s presentation will focus on fun things that folks can do themselves at home when entertaining – especially for children’s parties. Along with the samples that we distribute, we always have a handout with instructions at our presentations of what we have done that day. I am all for sharing and showing people how to do things for themselves.