PROSSER With Valentine’s Day just a week away, what better time can there be to hold a grand opening of truffle heaven.
Chocolatier Jade Visser of Sunnyside is doing just that with a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at Desert Wind Winery.
Her business, which can boast some of the most delectable chocolate and candies imaginable, is “Jade’s British Girl Treats.”
Her opening is timely. She is already commissioned to make custom truffles for several area wineries.
While she is serving samples of her “Crystallized grapes dressed in Chocolate” at Desert Wind Winery, 2258 Wine Country Road, her chocolates will also debut, featuring the wines of various wineries, during the Red Wine and Chocolate Weekend in Wine Country, Feb. 16-19.
Visser, who has more than 30 years of culinary and marketing experience, has been busy distributing her products to gift shops and delis from Yakima to Kennewick.
She said she was bitten by the chocolate-making bug during her first trip to the United States when she was 21.
“I already had a background in culinary arts,” the English chocolatier said.
So, when she returned home, she applied her cooking skills to the making of the chocolate confections.
Now, the number of varieties of her imagination are too numerous to count. She is always experimenting with the infusion of wine in her chocolates. In addition, she has created a chocolate truffle for whiskey lovers, which she calls a “Jack Daniels Volcano” in the shape of a pyramid.
Originally from the Sheffield area of England, she attended culinary school, earning a food sciences degree and a business degree.
Before moving to the Yakima Valley following her recent marriage, to Sunnyside banker Greg Visser, she worked as the manager and diamond specialist at Jared’s in Portland, Ore.
Consequently, Jared’s is the home of the LeVian Chocolate diamonds.
“What is better than chocolate and diamonds,” she smiled.
As another matter of serendipity, her new husband, also dabbles in culinary experimentation.
When we met, and he told me he made a party mix, I was like ‘Oh, right’,” she said.
She confessed when he presented her with a gallon bag of his mix, “…I ate the whole bag.”
Turns out Visser’s party mix is proving to be popular.
Never one to turn down an opportunity to market a new food, Visser is selling Greg’s Hunting, Fishing and Cabin Mixes at a number of places, including the Sunnyside Ace Hardware Store.
The mixes come in three flavorings, malt vinegar and salt, season blend and mesquite, “His mixes are amazing,” she said.
Locally, Jade’s British Treats are also available at the French Vanilla Market on Seventh Street and at the Home Stretch on Waneta Road in Sunnyside, at Alice’s Country Flowers in Toppenish, at Sister to Sister in Prosser, the Deep-Sea Deli and Kameo Flowers and gifts in Yakima. The British Girl Treats are also available at two locations in Kennewick at Roxy Theatre and Gift Shop and 509 Farm House, where Visser will host a pop-up shop on Saturday.
“I just have a real passion for food, pastries, baking and, of course, chocolates,” she said.