Jyoti Hart was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2015 but hasn’t let her condition stop her opening her own business. She now runs Truffle Bomb with her daughter Alicia Soni
Image: Jyoti Hart)
A mum who was told she can’t work due to a life-changing illness has defied all the odds to launch her own business from home with her daughter.
Jyoti Hart, 47, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2015 but now runs her own chocolate making company.
The mum-of-four was first inspired to make truffles as a “thinking of you” gift to friends and family during the third lockdown.
Her daughter Alicia Soni, aged 15, loves to bake – and the pair were stunned by the positive reaction they received about their food.
Since then, the mum and daughter duo have gone on to open their own stall in Biggleswade Market in Bedfordshire where they sell their Truffle Bomb chocolates every weekend, as well as taking online orders.
Speaking to The Mirror, Jyoti said: “My daughter Alicia is very much into her catering and is looking to become a chef when she is older.
“She is always baking and trying different recipes, so we thought as a nice treat we could send some chocolates to friends and family as an ‘I’m thinking of you gift’ as we hadn’t seen anyone for ages.
“We sent them out with a little note and thought nothing much of it… Then the calls started coming in saying how delicious they are and can they order for their friends and how much would we make them for.
“We didn’t really know what to say as it was just a treat and we hadn’t thought about the business side of things at that point.
“As I have progressive Multiple Sclerosis I can’t work a normal job and did think this could be something I could do as a part time thing and work when I am well and not when I’m having a flare up.“
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Jyoti decided to set up GoFundMe and Crowdfunder pages to help get their business started, with the pair receiving £545 in donations on the former.
They also received donations from friends and family, as well as local media coverage which helped boost their profile.
The attention definitely worked, as Jyoti was soon approached by an investor who wanted to help them fund their business.
This helped the mum and daughter buy the machinery they needed for their chocolates, as well as other start up costs such as getting their food shelf life tested.
Since opening their market stall, Jyoti and Alicia have taken their chocolates to the British Food Festival and Taste Bedford.
“We have had many returning customers who come and find us at different events that we do,“ said Jyoti.
“I get really happy at people’s reaction to the truffles and my daughter’s confidence has grown so much.
“Low points are natural too with business, even more so when health is a major factor.
“My MS means that I am torn between listening to my body and all the things I’d like to do to push the business as far as I can.
“This I find the hardest part but overall we have had nothing but amazing support and kindness since we started.“
Jyoti now has plans for seasonal truffles such as for Halloween and Diwali, and even wants to hire out a unit to expand the business even further.
The pair have plans to look into hiring staff too, and want to supply their chocolates to hotels and coffee shops.
They currently make around £450 a month from their chocolates and are forecasting a turnover of £5,400 over a year if they stay at their current level.
But despite the growth of their business, Jyoti says her daughter remains her biggest inspiration.
She said: “My daughter has anyways been very intuitive and always quietly sees the MS and never makes a big deal of it.
“She will come over fix the problem, like if my hands aren’t able to tie my laces on a day.“