Free Dublin Tea & Coffee Fest Tix with your online purchase this week

revised DCTF banner 2

We are happy to be home and getting ready for the Dublin Tea & Coffee Festival this weekend at the RDS.

To celebrate we are offering 2 free day passes to the festival to the first 7 customers who make a purchase online this week (ends Weds Sept 10, 4pm so we can post in time!)  Have a browse of the shop and choose a bar (or two or three – price includes postage) and we will include 2 free day passes for you and a friend to enjoy – and don’t forget to stop by and say hello to us in the Food Village!

See you there!  Allison & the Clon Choc Team

A x

 

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Choco-Canadian Tour & Irish Home Coming Events

We’ve been off the radar lately as we’ve been on the road in Canada, visiting friends and gleaning inspiration from some amazing chocolatiers, bean-to-bar makers and enthusiasts as well as loads of other artisan producers.    Here are some highlights – and lower down some big events for when we’re home next week!

photo5Our first week here we met the lovely people at Habitual Chocolate, where Philippe, chocolatier extraordinaire gave us a tour of their production methods, with beans roasting in the oven, conche spinning and hot-off-the-press bars to taste we left totally inspired.  Habitual Choc was born out of Fire Roasted Coffee, which we visited as well, both businesses are completely Fairtrade certified and are a social enterprise committed to community connections and delicious flavour packed products.  Their 85% West African and 100% Blend were our favourites :)

photo3In Montreal we were lucky to meet the lovely Miss Choco at her shop La Tablette.  They were about to close but we are so grateful they stayed open for us!  What a selection – here is a place celebrated for it’s commitment to showcasing the world’s best bean-to-bar producers, from Vietnam to Hawaii to local Montreal chocphoto4olate maker Pallette de Bine (I think our favorite!).  Needless to say we left with quite the goody bag and proceeded to sample our way across the country.  One of our other favorites was this Manoa Goat Milk Bar – two of my favorite things coming together in such a beautiful creamy treat – another reason to try to convince J to get a goat maybe?  :)

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photo1In PEI we couldn’t resist a stop at Receiver Coffee – open only 4 months and roasting coffee on the floor for of the shop we were inspired by the simplicity and authenticity of their products, not only were the take away cups hand-stamped, Chris, the founder, was standing at the roaster prepping beans while we lapped up our lovely brews – and we were there to see a shipment of new green beans arrive – something very close to what we’ll be experiencing soon with our first batch of cocoa beans set to leave port soon!

Next week we’re visiting another very inspiring chocolate maker in Toronto, and then we’ll be making our way home, fueled by all the amazing connections and generous sharing of information and resources we’ve had these past weeks.  We have been busy ordering supplies, finalizing our new manufacturing line and designing a lovely new logo, postcard, and cute stickers for the simple bio-packaging we love.

taste-of-west-corkWe’ll be hitting the ground running, with events during the Taste of West Cork Festival in Skibereen Sept 7th and our stall at the Dublin Tea & Coffee Festival Sept 12-14th we look forward to sharing stories and seeing you soon! (More on those events to come!)
Now – off to enjoy a bit of this lovely Canadian summer!

A x

ps. if any of you are in West Cork and getting married soon pop over to Innishannon House Hotel this Sunday for their fair and get a lovely goody bag with one of our chocolate hearts :)

 

 

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Mice, Mole and Magic….

For those of you who came to our ‘World’s Smallest Chocolate Festival’ on Saturday here in Clonakilty, you’ll know just how magical it all was! (we didn’t expect the world’s smallest festival to attract the world’s biggest crowd!)

We had some great reviews for our Spicy Mexican Mole, so here is the recipe – have a go at making it yourself!

Mole-Recipe

 

And for those of you who weren’t in Clonakilty on the weekend, here is a lovely little film that captures all the magic – from white mice, to Mexican mole, to chocolate mayhem!

5 days left to preorder chocolate and help us build a community-minded chocolate factory!

igg.me/at/clonchocolate

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Pitching (Projects + Peers = Possibility)

A few weeks back, as a student of School for Social Entrepreneurs, Ireland, I had the opportunity to pitch my project of building an ethical, community minded chocolate factory in Clonakilty to a very esteemed audience at Dublin University College.  Although I consider myself a ‘people person’ and can ‘pitch’ my idea casually quite comfortably, I still find the whole public speaking thing rather daunting – but all the more reason to give it a go!

The evening kicked off with incredible, inspirational insight and stories from Lynda Stopford, Director of the SSE Ireland – speaking about the importance of supporting social entrepreneurs (like us!) in the initial stages of development through education & networking – followed by SEI (Social Enterprise Ireland) founder Sean Coughlan and social entrepreneur Lisa Maree Domican (GraceApp).   They had me on the edge of my seat,  eyes welling up – I had found my peers – these guys had the same passion and vision for the possible!  My ‘pitch’ was swimming around in my head, but I found an excitement building in my gut, this feeling of absolute joy brimming up that could not be suppressed – the fear was gone, but replaced with some kind of glimmer into the ‘oneness’ of us all – ‘What a room full of beautiful people!’ ‘Oh what amazing things we can achieve together!’ and similar thoughts buzzed around my crowded brain.

So it was my turn, and with 3 min to deliver my well rehearsed speech (that I knew I could sum up in 2) I stood up, thanked everyone, praised the room, shared my joy, my appreciation for my instructors and peers, looked at the clock and with 1 min to go ploughed through most of my pitch content in what felt like 5 seconds – Wa! where does the time go!!  I held up my chocolate sample, touched on my ‘Live’ crowdfunding effort in the last 5 seconds and it was over, Phew!

All this to say a massive THANK YOU to Lynda and Colman (who setup SSE Ireland), to my 28 classmates who have become like a little family in the last few months, and to all those who support the SSE, both with their time and resources – we are on an amazing bucking bronco of a journey and the results are sure to be greater than any of us could have imagined!!!  (If you want to see our pitches – and video footage from the night here:

DCUvid

I haven’t watched it yet, still mustering the courage – so putting it out there with blind faith!)

Ok- back to the chocolate room – organising The World Smallest Chocolate Festival for this Saturday and oh so much to do! x

LyndaS_Pitchers

Left to Right – Me (Allison Roberts), Lynda Stopford (SSE Ireland Director), Maura McCabe (SHaRE Reading), Lisa Ruttledge (The Think Academy)

Ps.  I must also say that from the night I have now made an absolutely serendipitous connection with a fellow social entrepreneur, who has connections in Ghana (where I get my cocoa) and together we are plotting some amazing ways to maximise the benefit and connection with not just farmers but other small industries there – watch this space! Whoop!

The School for Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SSE Ireland), officially launched at the DCU event, will run practical learning programmes for entrepreneurial individuals with an early stage social business or social ventures. Twenty-eight social entrepreneurs are already enrolled on the 2014 SSE Ireland Incubator, funded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation which runs from April to November 2014. The Programme combines expert business know-how for start-ups generating social or environmental impact with mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs. social entrepreneurs and business people, including J.P. Morgan Ireland employees.

 

 

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Summer Courgette Brownie Recipe & Update

As we are nearing the last leg of our campaign to build an ethical, community-minded chocolate factory I wanted to post an update and recipe (to thank you, spread the word and encourage you to eat yummy brownies!)

The crowdfund is going great (igg.me/at/clonchocolate), nearly 50% there and we have 12 days left!  We’ve had a great response from both our local and internationally community which is really made us feel that people really want to see more responsible businesses get off the ground!   I am also halfway through the first School for Social Entrepreneurs course in Dublin, so I am building the foundations of the business alongside 27 other amazing socially-minded start-ups and am more and more inspired by the potential of the project.

This is a recipe for AMAZING sugar-free brownies… if you can believe it.  I have been making variations of these yummy courgette (zucchini) brownies for years as a result of my dad’s garden always being completely over-run with them!  Our family have had great fun experimenting on ways of working them into desserts over the years – this particular version was adapted from Bake & Make with Beth and is extra great because it is healthier (no refined sugar!), gluten-free and vegan – so no excuse not to indulge!

 


Please share it around, and of course, you can get your delicious & discounted chocolate on www.igg.me/at/clonchocolate!   I’m also attaching an invite to ‘The World’s Smallest Chocolate Festival’ for those who are nearer – it’s on this Sat June 6th and it’s going to be like a blown-out kids birthday party with games, magic and wild, wonderful and weird chocolate creations :)  

Here is the recipe:

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Clonakilty Chocolate Walnut Courgette Brownies 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups of grated courgette
  • 1 cup of almond butter (room temp) (you can sub for another butter but won’t taste almond – or you can blitz almonds in a blender)
  • 1/2 cup of honey/agave syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. of pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
  • 3/8 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. of 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/16 tsp. of salt
  • Handful of Rough Chopped Walnuts (or other nut, or omit!)
  • 250g of Decadent Dark Clonakilty Chocolate Baking-Chocolate (70% min), chopped and divided in half
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Generously grease the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 pan with coconut oil (or substitute)
  • Mix courgette, butter, honey, and maple syrup well in a large bowl. Add in the vanilla extract.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. 
  • Heat half of the chopped chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate is smooth.  Set the melted chocolate aside too cool slightly.
  • Blend the melted chocolate into the courgette mixture, and mix to incorporate well. Add the cocoa powder mixture and stir well. Fold in the rest of your chopped chocolate and nuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle a pinch or two of coarse sea salt over the batter
  • Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway during baking – I like it a bit mushy but if you want it to travel give it a bit longer.
  • Allow to cool completely at room temperature to allow to finish setting, cut & enjoy with friends!


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And the invite (the more the merrier!):
 


Ok, that’s all from Clonakilty Chocolate command central!  Thanks again for all your encouragement and of course for getting on board with the project by ordering yummy chocolate!
 
All the best, 
 
Allison & the Clonakilty Chocolate team!

 

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The World’s Smallest Chocolate Festival!

fest-invite-online

Please tell your friends – and your friend’s kids – to come along for the fun!

And please check out our video explaining our project on www.igg.me/at/clonchocolate!

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Champagne & Truffle Party – Preorders Are flying in!

We want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has preordered so far – so we are throwing a champagne & truffle pop-up party!

Champagne & Truffles at the Winery Asna Sq, Clonakilty – we would like to thank those who have preordered and answer any questions anyone has about the project!  We would also like to introduce you to our new team member Claudia (she’s awesome!!!)  See you there – Tuesday 17th June - Winery Asna Sq, Clonakilty, 5-7pm, music, champagne & TRUFFLES!

Please visit igg.me/at/clonchocolate to watch the video, and learn about how you can help us build a ethical, community-minded chocolate factory in Clonakilty!  Your help will make all the difference!!! Please share share share!

Off to wrap bars headed to Organico! Ax

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Clonakilty Chocolate is going bean-anas!

westcorkpeopleThis week I ‘launched’ a preorder campaign to help fund the creation of an ethical, community-minded chocolate factory in Clon – taking Clonakilty Chocolate to the next level and having greater positive impact locally & globally! 

(click image for PDF article from West Cork People)

Please visit the Indigogo page here to find out much more, watch the video and browse through the treats on offer, it would also be great if you could use the links on the site to share on FB & Twitter!

With order options starting at just 4e for a bar posted worldwide, truffles, workshops and more there is something for any chocolate lover (or why not let us post something to your chocolate loving friends?). Small is the new big – and your small preorder will make a BIG difference to the sustainability and development of the chocolate factory!

You can keep up to date with this Widget to the right —————->

Time for a cuppa.  x A

hotchoc

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Clonakilty Chocolate is now available in Dublin!

We are delighted that we sent our first big box of chocolate up to The Good Food Store, Ballsbridge late last week, pop in to have a try, we sent some samples too!  They have 7 flavours of bar including sugar-free raw bars and Himalayan Salt as well as two-dozen of our Decadent Dark Truffle Eggs just in time for Easter!

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Taste of the Week, Collaborations, Food Pairing Ideas & the Future!

I am getting very busy with Easter and new stockists, we’ve had a great reaction to our sugar-free bars and the early-bird Easter orders are rolling in.  Here are four bits of new and exciting news we’d like to share:

1 – We were delighted to hear that Billy Lyons of corkbilly.com voted our Pink Himalayan Salt bar his ‘Taste of the Week’ I am very honoured to be included among the fantastic foods his promotes on his blog!

2 – The lovely people at Ummera Smoked Products are giving away a free bar of our Decadent Dark Chocolate with every side of Salmon you order between now and Easter!  I did some experimenting last night and came up with this lovely flavour combination:salmonHomemade Sourdough Bread with Ummera Smoked Salmon, Grated Dark Chocolate, Chilli flakes and Lime!  The chilli and lime are the bridge between the chocolate and salmon and it was a hit with our dinner guests :)  The only thing I might have added was a bit of avocado, but I couldn’t find a ripe one at short notice!

3 – The incredibly creative and talented people at Little Green Dot have included our lollies in their post-able ‘Happy Chocolatey Puppet-ey Easter Fun Pack’ and we are delighted.  They make all their toys using only the best organic fabrics and are made only a few houses away from us in Clonakilty!  Order one here :)

littlegreendot

4 – I am so thrilled to have been accepted onto the School for Social Entrepreneurs Incubator course in Dublin, it’s an 8 month course guiding entrepreneurs who want to develop their business with social responsibility/ethics/community/sustainability weighing in equally with financial stability and development.   I have been looking to the future and scheming up ideas for a cocoa bean-factory in Clonakilty.  I am so delighted that I will be inspired and guided by this program!

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