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!



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!


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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:


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


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:


Clonakilty Chocolate Walnut Courgette Brownies 


  • 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)


  • 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!

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!


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


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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 :)


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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Easter Eggs and Bunnies are headed out into the world!

2014-03-25 08.17.40And the chickens are getting ready to hatch!

Easter is well under way at my little chocolaterie and I’m very happy to announce my Fairtrade Easter range can be found at the Lettercollum Kitchen Project & Olive Branch in Clonakilty, and for the first time ever they have left town and eggs can be found at Organico in Bantry, and that bunnies made it all the way to McCambridges in Galway!  Stay tuned for possible stockist in the capital and Cork!

And this year i’ve gotten organised and have solid bunnies and Easter lollies available in the online shop, and as always all orders – local or posted – receive 10% if in before April 4th.  So have a look at what’s on offer locally or come down to the Friday market for a chat!  A x



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A great launch & Article in West Cork People

I’m now getting dug in to Easter – bunnies and eggs are slowly filling local shops and my little chocolaterie is strewn with ribbon, but before I get onto that let me tell you about the last couple weeks :)

We had a great Fairtrade launch party at the Lettercollum Kitchen Project on March 8th with lots of friends and customers popping in to say hello and congratulate us on our new certification – and of course to sample some raw hot chocolate and some of the 15 flavours of chocolate!  It was great to meet some customers who have been buying the chocolate unbeknownst to me, (some for as long as 6 years!) and to hear their encouragement and feedback – thank you all so much for coming out, it was great to celebrate with you.

The West Cork People also published this article about our recent fact-finding trip to Ghana where I met the primary producers of my cocoa!   Please have a read:

Fair play to Fairtrade





Fairtrade Fortnight, an annual event that raises awareness about Fairtrade, comes to a successful close this Sunday, March 9. Clonakilty, Ireland’s first Fairtrade town, organised a number of informative events over the two weeks, one of which involved Allison Roberts and Cindy Kingston recounting their experiences visiting Fairtrade farms and co-ops on a trip to Ghana last November.

Allison and Cindy got the opportunity to represent Clonakilty Fairtrade on the two-week trip to Ghana after Clonakilty was declared ‘Best Fairtrade Town in Ireland 2013’. They speak to Mary O’Brien about their experience and the importance of supporting Fairtrade.

Fairtrade guarantees the growers fair prices for their produce, which results in the farmers being able to invest in their holdings and communities and that children attend education rather than having to work on the plantations. The Fairtrade system has also helped and encouraged producers to come together to form co-ops and these are working very well in Ghana.

Clonakilty based chocolatier Allison Roberts has always been passionate about Fairtrade, so when the occasion arose to see firsthand where the cocoa beans for her chocolate come from, she jumped at the chance. Cindy has been involved in the Clonakilty Fairtrade Committee since 2006 and says the trip was a truly humbling experience.

In Ghana, Allison and Cindy visited producers of Fairtrade palm oil, cocoa and bananas, as well as learning about the history of the slave trade in Ghana and visiting local recycling projects.

They met with cocoa bean farmers, many of whom were women, in the small rural village of Amankwatia. The local children attend a school, which was built with the aid of the Fairtrade premium.

In New Koforidua, Africa’a first Fairtrade town, Allison and Cindy met with 40 to 50 farmers who supply Fairtrade cocoa to the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa co-operative. Kuapa Kokoo’s cocoa is used in many of the big brand Fairtrade chocolate bars. “The farmers were very concerned about the future of Fairtrade produce and asked us to bring the message back to Ireland for people to continue supporting Fairtrade,” says Allison. “Fairtrade means they can improve their lives in Ghana, continue farming and continue to send their children to school.”

In Asuom, Cindy and Allison visited Serendipalm, a Fairtrade palm oil plantation and production unit. Here, they were guided through a local village where a new water pump has been installed and a new toilet block built with Fairtrade premium. “Sanitation in many of these small villages is very poor,” explains Cindy “and being part of the Fairtrade system is having huge positive impacts on their lives.”

“Entire towns are developed as part of the Fairtrade system, not just cocoa plantations,” explains Allison. “You can really feel the sense of community and pride in their traditions. In one of the weaving projects we visited, the man running it spoke extremely passionate about promoting sustainable tourism in his country.”

Throughout all the areas that the women visited in Ghana, they were met with huge smiles and even bigger welcomes. “The palm oil plantation was visually stunning,” says Allison. “All the work is done outdoors, mainly by women and everyone seemed very happy and relaxed. We were given a very warm welcome.”

“I would encourage everyone to think twice about everything that we consume in our consumer hungry society and maybe consider a simple change, such as buying fairtrade tea/coffee/chocolate, confident in the knowledge that just by having a cuppa, we can impact on the daily lives of others, positively,” says Cindy.

On Saturday, March 8, ‘Clonakilty Chocolate’, which recently received the Fairtrade Mark, will officially launch at The Lettercollum Kitchen Project Shop in Clonakilty.

Anyone interested in becoming involved in the Clonakilty Fairtrade committee can contact the chairperson Trevor Kingston on 086-2202029.


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