Obsession, love, passion, shared memories, sweet serenades, business ventures, the highest highs and the lowest lows.
These might sound like the characteristics of a relationship between two people, but guess again, sugar.
What I’ve just described is the journey of romance between one woman and her chocolate.
A chocolate rampage is kinda like one of those weird, fleeting Tinder romances that are usually over as quickly as they began.
After a few encounters and late-night affairs, you start to wonder if true love is possible.
Curiosity over how much you can handle keeps you going back for more and feeds a growing appetite.
The high and the happiness are addictive.
Before you have time to contemplate how long this feeling will last, you’re sucked in.
Completely blinded and obsessed, you’re rolling around on the kitchen floor screaming out the chorus of Adam Sandler’s smash hit ‘Somebody Kill Me Please’ over and over.
Eventually, something ticks. You realise things are just moving way too fast and it’s actually not as good for you as you once thought. Although you’re not 100% sure on why you’re about to be so rash, you quit cold turkey.
Next is the overwhelming regret and shame whenever you think about it.
‘Wow what have I done my belly is gonna EXPLODE I should NOT have stuck my head under that chocolate fountain at Eat Street…’
Finally, when you’re at your most vulnerable, they’re all like ‘hey bae I miss u. Netflix n chill?’.
That’s usually the point where everything goes out the window.
‘… but why stop now? I’m on a roll, give me more, I need more, PLEASE GOD BRING ME MORE. I am literally going to DIE if I don’t get 3 blocks of Dairy Milk, a stick of triple chocolate cookie dough and as many bags of Costco’s commercial brownie mix that will fit in my oven in the next 5 minutes.’
Sometimes you’ve gotta hit rock bottom before you get the inspired feeling that sets you out into the real world to find what’s actually good for you.
I can’t say with certainty that this is exactly how it all panned out for Sheree Ross (or, as she was hollered at recently by stranger at a party, ‘The Chocolate Lady’), but there are many parts of this story that remain true for Brisbane’s goddess of maple-syrup-infused-healthier-gourmet-chocolates.
If there is one thing you need to take from this story, it’s the address of Bill’s Organics in Acacia Ridge, so that you can get your hands on Sheree’s divine con-choc-tion immediately.
It is legitimately like nothing you have ever tasted. Ever.
Like, I mean, this shit is God’s gift. And God knows I’ve consumed my lifetime’s share of chocolate.
But I’ve finally stopped experiencing nightmares related to that story, so let’s get back to Sheree(zus)’s instead.
It began just like the rest of ours: totally in love, obsessed and a sucker for those late-night calls for action.
‘When I was young, I would go anywhere and do anything,’ she said.
‘I can remember times when I had a craving in the middle of the night but didn’t have a car. I rode my bike kilometers to the Ampol just so I could have chocolate.
‘Chocolate is my first love.’
Sheree(zus) has fond memories of Christmases, birthdays and Easters all made especially perfect because of her favourite eye (and mouth) candy.
Things were so good for so long, but when her obsession literally became unhealthy, she realised it was time to make the ultimate sacrifice.
‘I had to change my diet,’ she said.
‘And that meant not including chocolate – or, rather, the chocolate I was used to eating.’
But as with any other break up, Sheree(zus) realised it was going to be a Rocky Road without the companion with whom she had built so many memories and shared her life.
Determined to experience the healthier relationship she deserved, Sheree(zus) set out on a search for a replacement.
It wasn’t long before she realised she was a strong, independent woman who didn’t need ‘the man’.
She stuck it to the ‘Prince in Purple’, and the experimental phase ensued when she began to piece together her own recipe for true love.
‘I thought – well, wait a minute. Why can’t I make my own version with foods I’m allowed on my diet?’ she said.
And so, Sheree’s Gourmet Chocolates was born. Using a secret combination of natural, healthy and organic ingredients, Sheree(zus) has perfected her recipe for a gorgeous chocolate that is medium to low GI, vegan, gluten free and soy free with no additives or preservatives.
Just love and serenades.
‘The recipe I’ve got – the almond and maple syrup one – just came out one night.
‘I put a few ingredients together, and it turned out to be really nice.’
One day, Sheree(zus) popped in to Bill’s Organics to pick up some of her quality ingredients.
She got talking with Bill, the owner, about her creation, and he insisted she bring in a sample.
One thing lead to another, and before she knew it, her gorgeous peppermint cups, caramel cups and famous almond-maple dark chocolate were glistening in the cabinet at the front of his store.
‘I have this big pot here in the kitchen at Bill’s, and when I make my chocolate, it’s like I’m stirring a cauldron with a special potion.
‘And I’m singing to it. I actually sing to it. I believe that’s the secret to why people like it so much.’
I know exactly what you’re thinking.
But wait, there’s more.
‘It’s like, you pour it out onto the trays and it’s a river of brown velvet,’ she said.
‘I just love chocolate en masse. To me, that’s heaven.
‘I found a healthy way to enjoy it daily and I wanted to be able to share it with other people so they could also enjoy it and stay well, because chocolate is extremely good for you in every way.
‘And more than in moderation. Because moderation should be done in moderation as well,’ she said.
And in that moment, everything started to become clear to me.
Sheree(zus) was my soul mate.
Look: when it comes down to love, you’ll generally fall down one of two rabbit holes.
There’s the one that leads you to what I usually call the ‘conveyor-belt’. It reels you in, takes you on a ride, makes you think that you need it and messes with your head. But it will never love you back. Until you realise it is totally unhealthy and that you deserve better, it’ll keep leading you on. It knows very well that you’re vulnerable to its games.
And then there’s diving in to the second option, which I’ve dubbed ‘healthy addiction’. It’s whole-hearted, it’s serenades, it’s true love. It’s raw, pure and there’s nothing fake about it. It’s commitment and passion. It’s not easy to find, but it’s so worth it when you finally do. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
If you’re ready to give love a second chance, make the choice that is better for you in the long run (without having to actually do a long run).
You can make that choice by purchasing kilograms of Sheree Ross‘s guilt-free recipe of perfect, gorgeous, amazing chocolate (as well as many other delectable goodies) at Bill’s Organics in Acacia Ridge.
Onwards and upwards, my friend.
Words by Jess Morman
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