Classically trained chef Zander White worked in hotels and restaurants worldwide until settling in Sheffield as a teacher and conservation worker.
But he returned to his roots after a batch of homemade sweets proved popular with family and friends… and earlier this year set up his own company, selling handmade sweets at farmers’ markets and fairs around the area.
Now Zander’s Sweet Delights is in demand – and Zander, of Meersbrook, has proved he’s on to a winner by being named best street food trader at last week’s Eat Sheffield Awards.
After working in kitchens from France to Australia, he settled in the city 20 years ago, teaching at Sheffield College for five years before heading for the jungles of Peru to work with a wildlife conservation project.
On returning home he worked for Heeley Development Trust, training young people in horticulture.
But when he began making toffees for his friends last year, they were so enthusiastic that they persuaded him to set up in business.
Zander developed a range of sweets including treacle and pistachio toffee, and caramels flavoured with everything from star anise or salted honey to chocolate with stem ginger, coffee and amaretto.
The sweets are hand made in small batches, using quality natural ingredients free from artificial flavours, colourings or preservatives, as well as gluten and wheat.
He began selling at fairs and markets and is in talks with local shops and cafés interested in stocking his range.
An online store is due to be launched any day now, in time for Christmas orders. See www.zandersweetdelights.co.uk