Since a young age Sandra knew her hands were meant to be in chocolate. Growing up in an Italian home, food was always the centrepiece. After completing her Bachelors of Technology in Graphic Communications Management from Ryerson University, Sandra decided to change into the profession she’s always dreamed of, becoming a master chocolatier. She volunteered at a local bakery for a year to understand the grueling demands of the industry. After falling in love with pastry all over again, she moved to Chicago to attend the acclaimed French Pastry School, where she studied under Master Pastry Chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer, Joshua Jackson and Della Gossett.
Upon returning to Toronto, Sandra continued to work as an Assistant Pastry Chef. In April of 2012 she created Succulent Chocolates and Sweets Inc. in Vaughan. Soon after, she was selected as one of seven participants across Canada to compete at the prestigious World Chocolate Masters Canada; an international competition that brings together the leaders of the chocolate industry throughout twenty countries. Sandra trained for months to prepare for this intense nine-hour competition. Her hard work paid off as she was awarded first place in the category of Canada’s Best Molded Bonbon for her hand-crafted creation, titled The Crunchy Apple.
After the competition, with her first national award in hand, Sandra was able to focus her attention back to growing her business. She opened a 1800 sq.ft state of the art chocolate lab in Vaughan. She found a niche in creating chocolate experiences and gifts for the corporate and wedding markets. Her goal is to have people understand, see, taste and appreciate chocolate in a new way. She shared in passion for chocolate with high profile corporations such as TD Bank, Philips, TELUS and GE Healthcare. Her ambition pushed her to new heights with interviews with local radio stations, articles in newspapers and multiple TV appearances on Rogers, Breakfast TV and The Morning Show, Global TV. Sandra’s determination and perseverance as a young entrepreneur earned her many accolades including: Top 30 under 30 from the Ontario Hostelry Institute and Vaughan's Young Entrepreneur of by The City of Vaughan's Business Enterprise Centre. She was also named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network.
Recently, Chef Sandra was chosen by Cacao Barry Canada as one of 12 chefs from the Greater Toronto Area to visit "La Esmeralda" cacao farm in The Dominican Republic. This was a trip of a life time! Chef Sandra had an opportunity to see first-hand how cacao is grown, harvested and manufactured into chocolate as we know it.
Sandra’s passion for chocolate continues to grow as she develop new products and experiences to highlight this versatile and delicious medium.