Local Face: Amy Fleming

  |  Published: Oct 1st 2008

Amy Fleming was born two days late on 27 December 1986 in the now demolished RAF Halton hospital. She is Wendover through and through having lived here all her life, attending the John Hampden First and Wendover Middle Schools. Many readers will recognise her grandparents, Fred and Flo, who had the Swan and Brewers for many years. One of her earliest memories is eating icicles that hung from the pub guttering at Christmas.

Amy has done the usual round for a girl growing up in Wendover - ballet and tap at the Memorial Hall, Girl Guides, Badgers (St John Ambulance), working at Wyevale garden centre and Budgens. When she finished her A-levels at Aylesbury High School, though, she was still uncertain of what she really wanted to do. A place at university to do nutrition didn't sway her so she decided to take a gap year and reapplied to do religion with teaching at Bath. During her gap year, Amy learnt the 'art of the chocolatier' at Rumseys and soon realised that chocolate was what she was really interested in! She asked to make some violet creams for her dad, Ian (no 007 jokes please), but was let down just before Father's Day. Whilst shopping in Thame a few weeks later she discovered a quaint confectionery shop which happened to sell them. Whilst paying, the lady behind the counter chatted about how she was planning to retire and sell the shop... This set the ball in motion.

Amy was naturally concerned about incurring a huge debt whilst studying for a degree, but borrowing a similar amount to start a business seemed, to her, a much better option. And so, she gave up her second place at university and bought her very own shop, aged 19. She has now transformed Sweet Surrender into a flourishing olde fashioned sweet shop and chocolaterie. She imports all her mouth-watering chocolates from Belgium and boasts a staggering selection of over 50 varieties of liquorice! Whilst thoroughly enjoying her new career she admits that it is very hard work running your own business and leaves her with very little spare time.

When she has time to herself and isn't sleeping, she enjoys walking her poodle up Coombe Hill, playing dominoes at the British Legion, reading and socialising with her friends. It is a testament to Wendover that many of her closest friends are those with whom she went to playgroup!

Amy plans to expand her business in the future and would love to open another outlet in the village. She invites residents of Wendover to visit her at Sweet Surrender in Thame.

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