Thursday, August 8, 2013

News: New workshops keeping Rotherham sweet

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Budding confectioners are being invited to suck it and see in Rotherham town centre as the Whistle Stop Sweet Shop begins offering sweet-making workshops in the Imperial Buildings.

Opened in 2010, the sweet shop expanded to larger neighbouring premises in February this year to allow for the development of its Temperance Bar - selling traditional non-alcoholic sarsaparilla and cordials along with other fruit and sweet-based drinks.

The extra space also enabled enterprising couple, Tony and Kara Chapman, to begin making their own sweets on the premises, and now sweet-toothed members of the public can have a go too.

Kara Chapman, owner of The Whistle Stop Sweet Shop (pictured above with one of the first sweet-making parties), said: "The shop and the Temperance Bar have both been a great success, with a fantastic response from the public. Customers seem to love the idea of traditional sweets, so we thought we would start making them on the premises - with particular focus on the "Made in Rotherham" lines. The obvious step from that was to offer sweet-making workshops, which will be great for parties as well as offering a new experience for both children and adults alike.

"The workshops are aimed at anyone who would like to have a go at making sweets. The youngest confectioner we can teach is aged seven right through to 107! We can provide sweet-making parties for all occasions, and can also provide one-on-one tutoring to pass on the art of sugar crafting and sweet making.

"Aspiring young chefs can make a variety of sweets including fondant mice and bumble bees right through to sherbet and coconut ice. The adult trainee confectioner can make any sweet they can think of from the "sweet and suckable" hardboiled, through to the "soft and squishy" marshmallow. And the serious confectioner can gain practical experience through a series of demonstrations followed by hands-on sweet making, or sugar blowing."

The retailer's expansion was supported by a grant from Rotherham Council's Business Vitality Grants Scheme and through funding from the high profile "Portas Pilot" initiative which offers support to new businesses and those looking to expand their business in the town.

Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development for Rotherham Borough Council, said: "Traders like this do not rest on their laurels - they are always looking to expand and bring something new and different to the town centre, which is absolutely great for the people coming into Rotherham, It makes for a truly different shopping experience."

Whistle Stop Sweet Shop website

Images: Whistle Stop Sweet Shop / Facebook

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