LOCAL TALENT Victoria Johnston is the reason why mouths across the county are watering through her delicious new business venture ‘Victoria Rose Luxury Strawberries’.
The luxury chocolate covered strawberries are handmade by the Florencecourt native who specialises in the combination of chocolate dipped strawberries and creative designs for any special occasion.
Speaking to the Herald on what gave her the incentive to create her very own business less than 12 months ago, Victoria said, “My fiance was picking at me on Valentine’s Day saying that it’s an occasion for men just as much as it is for women because I always forget.
“As he is a farmer I thought to myself, what could I get him? So I thought of chocolate flavoured strawberries due to my experience as a chef for 10 years before I took a career change.
“I thought back to my time of working in America for a year in a five star resort, where we made chocolate covered strawberries for guests.
Victoria added how her Valentine’s inspired gift to her fiance made her realise that a gap in the market for products such as this very much existed here in Fermanagh.
“My fiance pointed out that this would be something that I could try and sell for Valentine’s Day to others, so I popped a post up on Facebook and thankfully had lots of people coming in with orders.
“From there, customers inquired if I would be doing something similar for Mother’s Day, so I just kept running with ideas and everything sort of snow balled form there.
“Anybody who ordered a box of strawberries instantly came back to me and ordered a box straight away for someone who they knew.
“It’s so nice to be such a small business and already have a regular clientele. Getting a repeat customer is one of the biggest compliments you can get and I love that.”
Speaking on the experience of starting her business while in the midst of a global pandemic, Victoria says that Covid “helped the process slightly.”
She continued, “I just started in February this year, it was difficult but Covid has helped it slightly, especially when so many people have not been able to get out and delivery was the only option for many.
“In the past I have left boxes out to Kesh for people who are isolating. I like to try and help people, especially when starting a business, because that’s what people remember. They remember your service and that’s what they come back for.”
With her business continuing to grow from strength-to-strength since last February, Victoria says that the demand for her luxury strawberries comes from her tasty treats being deemed as the “ideal gift” for any occasion.
“With the times that we’re in, it’s very hard to know what to buy people for a present,” she said.
“Most people have everything and don’t want material gifts. The chocolate strawberries as a gift are different and so tasty. They’re as pretty as a bunch of flowers, and can be used as a simple token that
you’re thinking of that person.
“Everybody loves something personalised, and the quality of my locally sourced strawberries are at the forefront of my business. I love working towards what a person wants, as well as being creative.
“I try to support local where possible when sourcing all of my ingredients however sometimes it can be very difficult and not feasable.
Trying to find reliable and high-quality suppliers who have the right size and shape of strawberries can be very difficult.
“I use the finest belgian chocolate which I temper myself, and is what creates that mouth watering texture.”
When asked about her plans for the future, Victoria said, “I have started taking wedding orders which is very exciting.
“They’re very popular for the likes of a champagne reception, and even for along the cake table. I’m just loving it, especially when my products mean so much to someone on their special day.”
To get in touch with Victoria or keep up-to-date with all of her unique and delicious creations, customers can visit ‘Victoria Rose Luxury Strawberries’ via her Facebook and Instagram channels.
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