Saturday, February 17, 2018

Treats for the Sweet

Charlene Bally is a little lady who enjoys making sweet treats. Her favourite confection is a chocolate covered strawberry. She spends a lot of time in the kitchen coming up with various chocolate and strawberry combinations. From the traditional chocolate dipped strawberry to those covered in chocolate chip, peanut butter, Oreo cookies and coconut, Bally says she is living her dream.

Getting the opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face makes her excited to get up each morning and do her job. As Valentine’s Day (February 14) approaches, Bally says this is one of her busiest times of the year. She is the founder and owner of Fountain of Events which has been in existence for the past two years. The business has been going strong and Bally credits much of its success to God, her family and the person she says has been her greatest motivator, Issa Asgarali.

“My goal is to be very different. I love creating fabulous desserts. Whether you are traditional or not, I try to cater to my customers’ needs,” Bally said.

“My company is an events company. We do a wide array of events such as weddings, graduations, birthdays and more. We also do a full chocolate fountain service, dessert tables as well as edible arrangements and of course chocolate covered strawberries,” she added.

“I specialise in local and exotic fruits. Most of my edible arrangements are very unique because of the combination I do with local and foreign fruits. Kiwi, foreign plums, peaches and pears really add a different touch. However, the most popular item for Valentine’s are chocolate covered strawberries,” Bally said.

“You can do almost anything with strawberries. I can infuse them with caramel, chocolate or Irish cream and even cream cheese. I love being creative and giving my customers something different and unique,” she said.

Just like the fruits she has to deal with on a daily basis that are distinctive in their size and shape, Bally says she too is very different and also walks to the beat of her own drum. Apart from having a twin sister, she comes from a family of all lawyers.

She said, “I come from a family of all girls. I have three sisters who all happen to be lawyers. I contemplated doing law as my chosen profession but I knew it was not for me. I think I have always known deep down I loved cooking but sometimes you have to explore your options and realise what your true passion is.”

Bally also did psychology and management but her skills with food developed while employed at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre.

She said, “While at Hilton the general manager, Mr Ali Khan said to me, you have an opportunity to train; do training in every aspect of the company.”

“I did training in the food, marketing, human resource management and anything else that was available. I got a grasp of everything which assisted me to launch out on my own and start my own business,” she said.

Spending countless hours in the kitchen making delicate and intricate desserts, Bally keeps her trim figure by also spending countless hours in the gym.

“When I am not doing edible arrangements, I am at the gym at least six days a week. I do bodybuilding not on a professional level but more for fun. However, I am.