A FAMILY has paid tribute to the loss of an 'incredibly positive woman', who was passionate about the local business community.

Joanne Nia Edwards died at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital on May 28, 2022, aged 48.

She was known to many for her Rossett-based business, Aballu Artisan Chocolatier, which she has been running for 15 years.

But Jo, who was born and raised in Wrexham, was also passionate about supporting other local business, especially the produce of Wales.

She took part in Llangollen and other food festivals, Menter a Busnes, Cadwyn Clwyd and Big Ideas Wales. She also visited schools to talk to the youngsters about running a business.

On behalf of the family, brother Neale Edwards said: "She had achieved such a lot, and contributed quite a lot to many different areas.

"She was proud of her Welsh heritage, promoting all that was good about her country and the excellent food and drink in the local area and beyond.

"Fifteen years ago, Jo gave up her job become a full-time chocolatier and delight a great many with her creations.

"In 2016 at the Llangollen Food Festival she also became a Guinness World Record holder in making 49 truffles in two minutes, beating previous holder TV chef Gino D'Acampo.

"She was an amazing chocolatier with an innovative approach and an amazing ability with flavours, sometimes beguiling her customers with what they were tasting, chocolate toast springs to mind as one such item."


Chocolatier Jo Edwards with her late grandmothers artwork created onto chocolate bars.

Chocolatier Jo Edwards with her late grandmother's artwork created onto chocolate bars.


Her interests were varied and many were very sociable, including languages, wine tasting, quizzes, music and walking. She also had a love of stargazing, which had seen her on a memorable trip to see the Northern Lights in Scotland with Neale.

As a person, Jo gave so much to others, going well beyond business, with Neale adding: "Jo had many amazing qualities, just some were kindness, thoughtful, caring, non-judgmental, hardworking, humorous and patient.

"She was passionate about what she did and also about what others were doing, inspirational, dedicated, creative, loyal and generous in all aspects, including giving her time to help, guide and motivate others.

"Jo had a love for her family and friends, a supportive nature towards all who met her, a wicked sense of humor and an amazing smile and laugh."

It's a sentiment echoed in the hundreds of messages left on Aballu Truffles Facebook page.

Leann Davies said: "To Jo's family and her Aballu team, I just want to say how heartbroken I am to hear about Jo.

"She really was one in a million. I have been friends with Jo since secondary school and we would message each other often. Jo was such a thoughtful caring and kind person and it was an absolute honour to be her friend."

Marian Williams said: "I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. Jo came to our Merched y Wawr meeting, having learnt enough Welsh to give a talk about her chocolate business with such passion and enthusiasm. She then came to several fairs held at our church and it was always a pleasure to meet her again."

Laura Thomas said: "I'm so shocked and I'm absolutely heartbroken, I've known Jo since our school days and talked to her often. I can't believe she's not here. She was the kindest person in the world. I will miss her so much."


Jo Edwards.

Jo Edwards.


Neale added: "We have been astounded by so many messages left on Jo's Aballu and personal Facebook pages and the unbelievable number of cards we have received.

"These messages and cards have come from people who knew her from school, her time in Cardiff at University, working in the Cardiff pubs and at the Welsh office, Wetherspoon and Tesco, and of course a great many from her customers from her time running Aballu.

"In reading these they have been an enormous comfort to us all, knowing how many people she has touched over her life and how many of those have wanted to leave their thoughts, memories and wishes."

Jo leaves behind mother Ann Edwards-Smith, brother Neale and his partner Amanda.

A funeral will take place on Monday, June 20 at 1.15pm (for 1.30pm start) at Wrexham Crematorium. Numbers are limited but for those who knew Jo, they will be very welcome to go on or straight to, the Wrexham Methodist Church in Regent Street for an informal 'celebration' of Jo and her positive impact on so many people.

There will also be food and drink, and a memorial book for those attending to fill in with their thoughts, experiences and memories of Jo.

Donations to be given in memory of Jo towards Dementia Friendly (Wrexham) - Painting Group and Teams4U.

Enquiries to Roberts Bros Funeral Directors on 01978 756997.