Behind the Counter:  Maggie Sweeney, Chocolate Maker and Rugby Star 

Truffles:  I’d like to lead off today’s interview with your big news and then we can talk about your work at Sweet Designs. 

Maggie:  Yes, just yesterday I decided where I’ll be going to school next fall - it's Queens University of Charlotte. 

Truffles: Tell us more. 

Maggie: I’m excited because Queens will give me the opportunity to pursue two things that really matter to me – academics and rugby.  I’ve always had a great interest in learning and since I discovered rugby in my freshman year, it’s become a real passion.  

Truffles: We’ve heard you’re a force to be reckoned with on the rugby pitch. 

Maggie:  That’s very kind.  In ninth-grade, I fell in love with the game and my team and I’ve worked hard to develop my skills and since then I’ve had a chance to play in NY, Wisconsin and North Carolina. 

Truffles: How is your team doing this year? 

Maggie:  We’ve had a great season so far and we’re hoping to be the state rugby champs.  One of my big learnings as I’ve juggled the demands of my schoolwork, rugby training and working at Sweet Designs is that if you want something, you have to do the work to make it happen. 

Truffles:  What else have you learned at Sweet Designs? 

Maggie:   Ines and her team have been great at helping me learn about small business and what I call “life experience” lessons.  There’s so much involved in building and running a small business that goes beyond just making the chocolate.  And there’s the unpredictability of the business.  I work primarily in the kitchen, so I have a bird’s-eye view of everything. In addition to her business lessons, Ines has helped me personally with learning about spending money responsibly and so much more. 

Truffles: Any other passions besides school and rugby? 
Maggie: I love to cook and to experiment in the kitchen.  I really enjoy trying new recipes and seeing how people react to what I’ve come up with. For example, rather than just making chocolate chip cookies or some other popular treat, I'm more likely to try my hand at making amaretto chocolate-chip filled cupcakes.

Truffles: What’s your favorite Sweet Designs treat? 
Maggie: It’s funny because when I started here when I was 15, I really liked our chocolate-covered pretzels but now my tastes have shifted and I’m in love with hazelnut truffles.


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