Like many of us, Elia Testa has a secret love for sweet treats. The Tatura resident started her own business — Pure Bliss Friendly Treats — a year ago, offering people sweet treats without the associated guilt.
‘‘I was in Melbourne for four years and had so many healthy treats available to me,’’ Elia said.
‘‘There was a missing market for them here in Shepparton and around the Goulburn Valley.’’
Having always had a passion for health, fitness and cooking, Elia wanted to give people the same variety of guilt-free alternatives.
She started searching for recipes on the internet and mixing her own ingredients to find what worked.
‘‘I used to make them just for myself, then I thought why not give this a shot and see how it goes,’’ she said.
After a lot of trial and error, Elia developed her first bliss balls using a number of healthy ingredients as alternatives.
She creates a variety of different flavoured bliss balls and vegan slices, which she describes as a more wholesome alternative to a treat.
‘‘People ask me ‘am I going to get fat by eating these?’,’’ she said.
‘‘I tell them that they are not going to lose weight by eating 10 of them, but they are a healthier alternative when you are craving a sweet.’’
Since starting her business, Elia has been overwhelmed with support from family, friends and the community.
Her products are sold in businesses across the Goulburn Valley, including Brother Pablo, BelCibo and Co and Forever Fresh.
The future is looking bright for Pure Bliss Friendly Treats, with Elia hoping to expand to other areas across Victoria.
‘‘My goal would be to get into Melbourne, starting off with a few cafes and seeing how it goes,’’ she said.
‘‘It can be tough though, because you’re just another fish in the sea in Melbourne.’’
With this in mind, Elia also has her sights set on smaller rural towns such as Nagambie and Cobram.
"All I can do is go in and try,’’ she said. ‘‘When you’re in the kitchen rolling balls all day it can be hard, but then you think about the support you have received and it makes you want to keep going and strive to get bigger and better.’’
Check out the full range of products on offer at Facebook/pureblissfriendlytreats