Dawn Fry (chocolatier) 48, is married to Jo Fry (blacksmith) 53 – they have three children aged 17, 15 and 11 and live in Hitchin. Dawn set up The Melting Pot offering chocolate workshops five years ago and Jo has been working as a blacksmith since leaving school.
Dawn’s varied career background in people development, marketing and PR proved good experience for putting together a workshop-style business. The concept for The Melting Pot was all Dawn’s own creation – she had no previous background of working with chocolate!
Two years ago, Jo started offering ‘be a blacksmith for a day’ experiences at his forge (following on from Dawn’s success) in addition to the metalwork commissions. His forge is based at Standalone Farm in Letchworth Garden City.
Dawn wished to create her own business to enable a flexible set up with the family and to work on her own terms, taking time off during the summer for example, to travel with the family.
“Being able to stamp my own personality on what I do, as well as ensure that every person has the best possible time is what I love. You’d be amazed at the power of chocolate and the tales from the chocolate tank I could share! My main aim is to ‘make people happy’ and what’s not to love about a job that does that!” – Dawn
“The worst bit about running your own thing is the tendency to do everything yourself. Clearing up after a children’s party is probably the worst bit about what I do, but I do get to munch chocolate whilst doing it!” – Dawn
“For me it’s marketing what I do. I have to ask for Dawn’s help! That and paperwork probably are my worst bits!” – Jo
Dawn’s worst moment involved dropping the chocolate tank on the way to a team event. She was unable to deliver the workshop and covered in chocolate, but luckily the clients were extremely understanding!
For Jo it would have to be working for clients that don’t know what they want! It has only really happened on one occasion when a client could not come up with a design – Jo made their item, only to have the wife decide she didn’t like it and refuse to take it away!
“Working for ourselves means that we can be very flexible with the family – although they are older now, we have not had to rely on childcare for some years. We are extremely supportive of each other as we both understand what it’s like to run your own outfit.”
“We sometimes have an ‘away day’ where we discuss the more strategic direction for our businesses – and what we want to achieve as a family and especially what holidays we hope to pay for over the coming year.”
Dawn has created a ‘business in a chocolate box’ opportunity where she is looking for like-minded people who wish to run a chocolate workshop business where they live. Dawn has written a free e-book is entitled ‘7 BIG benefits of running a chocolate business’ for anyone interested in finding out more http://www.makechocolates.co.uk/free-e-book/
Dawn Fry Jo Fry