About Coco&Me, this blog, & me

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Hello! First of all, a big *thank you* for taking your time visiting my Coco&Me blog. I have been blogging since 2006 (!), & at first was slightly dubious as to who’d read anything I’d written – but, I am amazed to find out that, actually, many many people are reading this – from all corners of the world! I hope that the readers enjoy this blog as much as I love writing it. And please feel free to leave comments! I’d love to know what you think!

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About Coco&Me:

Coco&Me was a stall, selling handmade chocolates & cakes at a farmers market called Broadway Market, in Hackney, East London. Coco&Me stall was there every Saturday (come rain or shine, not even the vagaries of British weather didn’t stop me!), 9am til 5pm or until whenever I finish selling all my items! Coco&Me chocolates & cakes used only natural ingredients, & eggs used in the cakes were free-range. Each & every item had been made lovingly with attention to detail.
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About Broadway Market:

Broadway Market is an outdoor farmer’s style street market with a good vibe, very London, currently with about 160 stalls selling very tasty food, & clothing/ objects/ all sorts. I think it is the best market in London (ofcourse I’d say that!). The size of the market is just perfect – not too small that you’d finish your visit in 10 minutes, & not too big that you’d lose yourself. I’d say it’s great for people-watching too; – there’s the traditional Eastenders, the sophisticated locals (many are dog owners!?), families with young children, some small amount of tourists, & the trendsy people with ultra sharp fashion sense. If you have never been to Broadway market, do investigate & you won’t be disappointed. It has a village-like atmosphere, full of ‘real’ London charm. As well as the stalls, there are enough shops, restaurants & galleries to satisfy the most discerning customer.

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About this blog:

I started writing in October 2006, exactly a year since I started operating my stall (read my first blog entry via this link). So much has happened within just that one year, so many interesting people I met, so much knowledge I gained, that I decided to write down this grand time in this online diary to keep tabs on. Also, I wanted for Coco&Me to be in a constant process of experimentation – trying out new recipes & ideas – because that is what’s going to keep it fresh & interesting for me – I am hoping that doing this blog would serve to spur me on to do more with the passion I have for food.

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A little bit about me:

I am a forty year old Japanese & have been living in London since the age of six. I originally trained as a Graphic designer at Saint Martins & worked in that field for six years. The change of career started forming itself in Spring 2003, when I was made redundant (from a job I hated anyway!) & was stuck at home with a pregnant stomach that craved for anything/ everything chocolate & refined sugar (!). Since my figure was going side-ways anyhow, I gave in to this evil craving, – big time. Which then evolved into the Passion (with a capital P) for making them myself. I would make truffles & fondant filled bonbons for my girlfriends as gifts. Eventually, as I became quite good at it, I started to tell them of my far-distant (day)dream of owning a shop ‘one day’

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One winter day in 2004, my girlfriend A changed the course of my life. She would also like to own a shop, with me!! – I tell you, I was ecstatic. Finally, I had an outlet for my creations…! (other than it ending up in my stomach all the time). We decided we’d see how we do as a non-commital stall holder, which was the best course of action, as eventually my dearest friend decided that she would like to stick to her design work afterall. It was a sad departure, but I am forever grateful of the chance she gave me to realise my dream. Without her initial participation, I would never have plucked up the confidence to actually do it.

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I was very happy with the Saturday-only stall setup. Actually, I was so comfortably happy in my job that I was there for almost 11 years!​ The lifestyle made absolute sense as I can still look after my young children most of the week! I absolutely loved my job, I loved selling direct to my customers & seeing how my treats made them happy. I swell with pride that my creations graced people’s important dates like birthdays, Christmases & weddings.

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But on June 28th 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  (read about it via this linkthis linkthis link.) With this sudden news, I quit work immediately. Because I knew straight away that the most sensible thing for me to do is take better care of myself. This means, live with less stress, live life slowly & have time to cook well, eat well, & spend quality time with my family. The last thing I wanted was to push my body to tiredness while I go through the expected treatments ahead.

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Having said this, please don’t worry too much, as my cancer has not spread! ​I appreciate that I am very lucky. I acknowledge that I am in the next chapter in my life. ~ In the journey of getting better & to never-ever get a recurrence, I am concentrating on always cooking from scratch. Ingredients I use are mostly wholefoods, a huge lot more vegetables than ever before, & whole grains. Meat-wise I ‘try’ to only eat white meats that are lean. Sometimes my ingredients are organic, sometimes not! ​In cooking, I’ve always been an Enthusiast (with a capital E!) & I enjoy getting in to the nitty-gritty with the details. :-)

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I *try* to live each day looking toward the possibilities lying before me, and that is what motivates me to live fully to my capabilities – I mean, any wonderful thing could happen, right? :)

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​I hope you enjoy this website as much as I enjoy creating it!

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T xx

 

 

 

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(This article was written on March 14th 2017)
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Coco&Me - picture from the stallCoco&Me - picture from the stall

(Pictures from May 2007)