In May 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bienka Rosch and her husband decided to pack up their stuff and move their family from their fast-paced lifestyle in Calgary back to their hometown of Creston.
Being back in Creston meant that Rosch could be closer to her dad, and also allowed for her to spend more quality time with her two kids, Hayden and Elivia.
“Part of COVID was the commitment to slow down our lifestyle, which was quite hectic prior to everything happening,” said Rosch. “We were living in the city, I had a big commute to work and I wasn’t home a lot. I was home, but just lots of busyness.”
Family time has now come in the form of playing puzzles, board games and outdoor activities. Baking treats with her 12-year-old daughter has also ballooned into a regular means of bonding.
The two have been creating Smash Hearts, which is melted-chocolate moulded into the shape of a heart. Traditionally, a Smash Heart is a gifted goodie — the treat is placed into a gift box alongside a crab cracking pallet that is used to “smash” the heart and unveil a present or surprise hidden inside.
Making Smash Hearts, said Elivia, was a good way to kill time and spend time with her mom.
“During the COVID time, we were just bored and we decided to make something,” said Elivia.
With work opportunities scarce for a 12-year-old, and babysitting gigs limited due to the pandemic, the two figured that they could start selling these boxed treats in town so that Elivia could get her first taste of business.
“If you wanted to do a birthday gift, candy or a ring, you can put that underneath. We haven’t made one, but I thought it would be a great idea for gender reveals,” said Rosch. “There’s lots of ways to do it. You can reveal whatever you want underneath.”
They took their business pitch to the Creston Buy and Sell Facebook group, and the idea was welcomed by members of the community: the post received over 200 reactions and six Smash Heart orders were placed as a result, three of which are intended as Valentine’s Day gifts.
“I never really thought about starting a job with my mom,” said Elivia.
Their Smash Hearts can come in a variety of different colours and are offered in two boxed options: an unfilled heart for $35, or a heart filled with candies for $45. Whatever option is selected, each comes with a smashing pallet and the package will be delivered to your doorstep.
Oreos dipped in coordinating colours of the heart can also be included: four for $4, or eight for $6. The two can also include sprinkles, edible sugar dust and other decorations, such as birthday or anniversary messages.
“I think Elivia would be savvy enough to do it by herself, but it gives us the chance to do it together and spend time together,” said Rosch.
The goal, she continued, isn’t to turn this into a full-blown business, but rather a service that the two can provide in the community if needed.
“I want to take some pictures and make an Instagram page for us. Videos of us making Smash Hearts, things we never did when we were just doing it for fun,” she said. “Make it a real thing and see where it goes.”