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Meet The Team

Jo Edwards
(proprietor & chief chocolatier)

Born & brought up in Wrexham, I’ve always been creative, always liked chocolate, and always thought that I might establish my own business. So, running an artisan chocolate company is pretty much perfect!

My background? Not what you might expect, perhaps. I grew up in a pub in the village of Brymbo near Wrexham, and went off to Cardiff University, where I graduated with a degree in Language & Communication in 1997. I spent a fantastic year working as a Publicity Officer at The Welsh Office, but then moved back home to North Wales to join Wetherspoons in 1998. In 2002, I joined Tesco as a Night Manager in Wrexham. But, in 2006, I finally took the plunge and started Aballu.

Why start Aballu? They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that was very true for me. In between leaving The Welsh Office & joining Wetherspoons, I had very little money for Christmas presents. So, I made chocolates for my family & friends. They seemed to like them, so I kept doing this even after I’d started working again. When I left Wetherspoons, I told myself that if I didn’t get the job with Tesco, I would give the chocolate business a go. I joined Tesco. But, in 2005, I made the decision that I wanted to give it a try. So, I resigned from my management role there, took a part-time position, and set off on a new adventure – chocolate making. The rest, as they say, is history!

What’s your favourite food? I ought to say chocolate! Actually, I do love chocolate in any form, but my favourite food (if I’m allowed to call it a food) is actually a really good bottle of wine, or a good mug of coffee! I think it’s the complexity & variety of flavours that you get in all these ‘foods’ that I enjoy.

Which of your own chocolates do you like the most? It changes every week, sometimes every day, but my current favourite is a Blackcurrant & Rosemary truffle we’re developing. I love the Chilli, Ginger & Lime truffle we entered in the Great Taste Awards last year, too. Oh, and our new range of quirky chocolate animals – Lamb & Mint, Duck & Orange and Pork & Apple(link to new product info)! We love developing new flavours & products, but always with an eye on the taste and quality. It’s never about style over substance.

So, did the Chilli, Ginger & Lime truffle win anything at the Great Taste Awards last year? Yes – very proud to say it got a Gold Award.

Jo has a growing reputation for new product development & own brand work.

Robyn Johns
(Trainee Chocolatier & general ‘elf’)

Robyn’s only recently joined the team, but is integral to Aballu’s future growth.
As with Jo, Robyn was born & brought up in Wrexham (just a lot more recently!). She went off to Bangor University to study a Music degree, but felt that it wasn’t quite what she wanted to do. So, she’s now involved in Youth Work and works part-time at Aballu.

So, Robyn, what do you love to do in your spare time? I love music of all kinds – singing, playing, listening…any time, any place, especially, when I’m working – much to Jo’s amusement!

Reading is my favourite thing to do when I get a moment to myself. I can’t live without a good book & a brew. I also love to spend time with my friends – an evening at the pub, a walk or adventure, or relaxing with a movie.
I’m just moving into a house with some of my friends, which is a very big adventure. ‘Growing up time’!

What’s your favourite food? Chocolate? Chocolate is right up there. Along with cheesy mashed potato & gravy, risotto, and cake!

Do you have a favourite Aballu chocolate? Raspberry Mallow & Popcorn chocolate bars, and the Blackcurrant & Rosemary and the Salted Caramel truffles. The Popcorn chocolate is my new fave!

Robyn’s a great people person, and customer service is her forte. She really enjoys meeting new people.

And ‘The Family’
(Chief Tasters extraordinaire)

The waiting list to be an Aballu taste tester is very long, but my family and friends are not only happy to oblige, but also honest in their feedback! They all love their chocolate, though.

And their current favourite Aballu chocolate?
Errrmmm….too many to list, apparently!