Chocolate is not just an Easter treat for lucky Liza

Liza Gamblin,  Graham Franks Photography
Liza Gamblin, Graham Franks Photography

Many of us have been heartily tucking into Easter eggs this weekend.

But Chocolate is not just an Easter treat for People and Development Manager at Montezuma’s Chocolates, Liza Gamblin, who is surrounded by bars, bags and boxes of bliss all year round.

“My job is to ensure that we find the right people, keep them happy, help them reach their full potential and have some fun along the way,” she told me, explaining that the company started small, but swiftly made its mark.

“The secret of our success is that we work hard to maintain our reputation for quality and innovation while keeping loyal customers happy with their favourite products. Simon and Helen, our co-founders, would say that our other secret is our people, as without them we couldn’t make, manage or sell our chocolate to our lovely customers.

“We have a fantastic team and we all share Helen and Simon’s passion, creativity and enthusiasm to make Montezuma’s Britain’s greatest little chocolate company.”

Talking of enthusiasm, Liza is also a volunteer Board member for Young Enterprise, a charity that works directly with young people, through schools, to provide a comprehensive business learning experience.

“I feel passionate about young people reaching their full potential and Young Enterprise offers students the opportunity to learn real life skills that will give them confidence to set up their own business and perhaps help them find a passion for a particular area. It is a fantastic organisation that has lots of successful individuals from all walks of life, all eager to share their experience with our Young Enterprise students.

Explaining that students get involved in all aspects of a business, with everyone taking on a role such as HR, IT, Finance, Marketing, “If you have what it takes, be the MD!” said Liza, adding:

“If a team has a great product they can continue with their company beyond the competition’s conclusion. It could be the start of a whole new journey.”

But the youngsters are not alone in benefitting from the experience.

“Young people have lots of ideas buzzing around in their heads; they are not clouded with any preconceptions of practicality. I love watching them turn their ideas into reality and knowing that I have been part of that makes it all worthwhile.

“But it is our annual awards day at the end of the process that really makes it special for me. The students have to present their product and share their journey and I am always filled with pride when they rave about how much they have learned from the experience.”

Pointing out that you’re never too old to learn, I suggested that I could do work experience at Montezuma’s with a view to becoming the Chief Peanut Butter Truffle Taster.

“Without question, they are my favourites,” agreed Liza. “The funny thing is I don’t like peanut butter from a jar!”

If you are interested in volunteering as a business advisor or board member for Young Enterprise please email madeleine.mills@y-e.org.uk

More info: https://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/

Montezuma’s: https://www.montezumas.co.uk/