Summer is Here (& Father’s Day Course Approaching!)

We are delighted to be writing this update that all of our crowd-funding orders from our campaign last summer have been sent, we started posting & delivering in February and the last orders went out early May! (If you live in Clon & still have a voucher, design-a-bar or treats to pick up locally be sure to get in touch!)
tomliftThanks to the great support our cash flow is ticking over and we had the funds on hand to purchase our second lot of beans which arrived here from Ghana on Friday.  We had a pizza party to celebrate their arrival – and to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of our very first employee Claudia!  pizzapartyWe did a call out for help to move the beans – which took Justin and I 4 hours last time – and little did we know my market-neighbour Tom (Gem Sushi) is a powerhouse who transported 6 of the 65kg bags single-handedly. (I can barely get one to budge on my own.)

We have been hard at work with 2 new members in our team and 18 new shops around Ireland taking on our new ground-breaking chocolate.  We are proud to be one of only 3 chocolate makers in Ireland (making chocolate from the bean) and the only chocolate maker using alternative sweeteners and dairy (the goat’s milk chocolate has been a big hit)  so Wholefood & Healthfood shops have been the first to get in touch and order but with a recent podcast by Ireland’s John & Sally McKenna featuring Clonakilty Chocolate we’ve had lots of interest from across the board.  Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/mckennas-guides/takeaway-bean-to-bar-chocolate-in-ireland

We also have our last course of the season schedule for 2 weeks time – our Father’s Day workshop for Dad’s and their kids on June 21st  – find the details here, 3 spaces left!  All our courses have been great, we’ve had such positive feedback for our small social enterprise and met lovely new people from all over Ireland!  We’ll be posting a new schedule of courses before Christmas next year so do check back!

Plans for the summer include participating in the Cork Food Forum where we’ll be able to meet lots of independent shop owners as well as the general public as well as finishing off packaging for a couple new products including our whole roasted cocoa beans, cocoa husk tea and nibs!  All go!  And of course as we continue to grow as a Social Enterprise, pushing boundaries and questioning convention!  So with big love from all of us here I leave you with our new poster!  xx A & the CC team

 


McKennas Choco-Podcast, New Website & More!

We are so delighted to have received news this morning that the lovely John & Sally McKenna featured our chocolate in one of their great foodie podcasts! You can listen here to find out all about the history of chocolate, how we make our chocolate from the bean to bar and some excerpts from the amazing choco-launch feast we had with Caitin Ruth back in February to celebrate the arrival of our new granite grinder!

We have also launched our new website this past month so do have a browse around – we will be posting lots more chock-info in the education section soon as well as adding some great new products in addition to our new line of from-the-bean sugar-free Fairtrade bars and subscription packs!

We have been madly busy working with our new equipment, chatting with lovely new shops, touring around doing tastings & courses and sending out our Crowdfunding orders from last summer – we’re finally here!

All that to say a big THANK YOU for all your support through our journey to get here, feel free to get in touch, come by and visit us at the Clonakilty Market each Friday or drop us a line if you want to book in for a little chocolate demo or tour of our workshop anytime!
And a HUGE thank you to the McKennas for such an amazing feature in their new podcast!

Happy Friday!
Hugs & Chocolate Kisses.
Allison


Great launches – lovely articles – and new website coming soon!

We’ve had so many brilliant launch events for our new factory space and our new bars that my head is spinning!  The 7 course factory-feast with Caitlin Ruth chef-ing and the Tasting & Tapas night at Molly’s Winebar (Cork Billy’s lovely post here) were definitely two of the highlights, we also had an open day, talks, several school groups visit and even a birthday party!

Here’s a little video of why we’re celebrating!

We have more workshops this weekend and plenty over the next few months which you can see here.

And of course we haven’t forgotten your pre-orders – that’s why we were able to buy our lovely new machines and why are new bars taste so delicious!  We’re starting to post next week but it will take until Easter for us to get them all out – there’s over 250 to send!

IMG_8160The new bars are all lovingly made from the bean, they use healthier, natural sweeteners & dairy products and have been a great hit with anyone who has tasted them so far.  We also couldn’t help but start experimenting with a few completely new products – but more on that soon!  Here is a really great article the Cork News put out last week that really sums us up.

All that to say it’s all happening and with it we are launching a new website where you can purchase the new bars or register as a stockist – if you think one of your local shops should stock our bars do let us know – and let them know – and hopefully we can make it happen!

More soon!  A & the Clon Choc team


Upcoming Tasting & Open Day Events and Flavour.ie Supper Clubs

We’re seriously looking forward to unveiling our new creations during Fairtrade Fortnight this year as we officially move from being chocolatiers to bean-to-bar chocolate makers!

Two highlights will be an open day on Feb 28th where all are welcome to book in for a peek into our new garden workshop and our March 5th Tasting & Tapas at Molly’s wine bar (details below!) where we will be unveiling our new range of Fairtrade bars made with natural & healthier sweeteners & dairy products!  Do give us a ring on 085 757 4338 for either event or you can book tickets for the Tapas & Tasting online here.  For a listing of all upcoming events & workshops click here!   This is all as a result of the amazing support we received through our recent crowd funding campaign, which you can learn about here.

march launch

tastingLast night we were honoured to be invited as a producer-guest to a Flavour.ie beautiful chocolate-themed supper club!  Flavour.ie is a blog featuring Irish producers & recipes by food-lover Kate Ryan as well as a platform to   host & encourage others to host, small intimate supper gatherings for friends, followers & foodies showcasing local ingredients & producers. I did a short choco-tasting during pre-dessert break and it was so great to get a first round of feedback for my own new chocolate creations in preparation for my upcoming launch!   Check out what Kate is up to on Flavour.ie or her Facebook and sign up to receive news of upcoming events, and maybe host a supper club at your place soon?


Spring Workshop Dates

IMG_6859We are delighted to announce our first set of workshops from our new garden studio!  From Bean-to-Bar workshops for adults to mother & fathers day chocolate making for parents & kids and Raw Chocolate for beginners, there is plenty to tickle your taste buds!

IMG_6863First up is our Valentine’s Day tasting & truffle evening –
The full list of courses can be found here.

Also – we included information on our celebratory Tasting & Tapas evening at Molly’s Winebar, Thursday March 5th, calling all chocolate lovers!

To book or for more information feel free to drop us a line or ring 085 757 4338 and speak to Allison.


Pallet-load-of-dreams :)

beans just arrivedVery exciting morning! Our first pallet load of Fairtrade beans have just arrived from Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana 

It’s been such an amazing year growing Clonakilty Chocolate after being inspired when I was in Ghana myself a year ago! If I could tell my 12 year old self that this is where my then small business would lead I beans in handwould have never believed it! Thanks to everyone in Clon (and around the world!) for all your encouragement and support – dreams do come true!


Looking forward to making you all lots more beautiful Fairtrade Chocolate – now from the bean!  More soon, and of course, Christmas orders welcome!
A & the CC team

 

 


New West Cork Whiskey Truffles & Christmas Goodies – order by Dec 8th, save 10%!

1415656859724Well Christmas is coming up very fast again this year!  With all the excitement of working with new people (we’re a team of 4 these days!) and kitting out the new workshop Christmas zoomed up on us faster than ever!

Luckily we had hatched the idea for these lovely guys last year and so it was just a matter of making them happen.  Our ‘West Cork Whiskey Truffles’ are made by combining our own 70% decadent dark Fairtrade chocolate with Clona Dairy fresh Irish cream and Kennedy Whiskey, made in Skiberreen by the West Cork Distillery – and they are gorgeous (if we do say so ourselves).  I took them to my first market yesterday for sampling and the response was nothing but positive, creamy lush whiskey truffles where you can definitely taste the whiskey! 🙂

So we’re now open for Christmas orders – lots of pictures here – and as usual we are IMG_5590offering an extra 10% off to any Christmas orders placed before Dec 8th.  The order form is here, you can print if off and drop it in to us at the market, email your order through to me at [email protected] or give us a ring on 085 757 4338 and we’ll take your order by phone – easy peasy!

This year you can find us at the following Christmas Markets in West Cork (I will keep updating this as things change or more are added!)

Every Friday at Clonakilty Market, O’Donovans Hotel Carpark
Nov 22nd – Celtic Ross Hotel
Nov 29th – Vintage Christmas Fair, O’Donovans Hotel (The Venue)
Dec 7th – Skibbereen Taste of West Cork Food Emporium
Dec 7th – Clonakilty Market – Special Xmas Market
Dec 14th – Ardfield GAA – Fundrasiser for CoAction

Thank you as always for your custom, we love what we do and we are glad you like it too!
All the best for this season of celebrations! A & the CC Team


Chocolate Chocolate Everywhere

We’ve had such a productive and inspiring September & October so a bit behind in the updates!  Here is a little snippet into what has been a seriously chocolate coated couple months.

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CHOCOSOL – TORONTO  In our last week in Canada we met a most inspiring Chocolatista in Toronto.  Michael Sacco founded ChocoSol Traders and is also working on his Phd delving into Cacao as the food of the gods!  His passion for chocolate was ignited while working on solar energy projects in Mexico and it is contagious.   They have all sorts of wonderful things to look at from pedal powered grinders, market bike with super deluxe trailer and rooftop flower garden growing in cocoa-compost.   After a generous couple hours he spent showing us around and getting our minds moving with conversations that went something like this ‘What do people do most with chocolate?’ (and my reply) ‘eat it?’ (and then) ‘Give it!  Its roots are as a currency – based in generosity and community!’ I felt my own passion rekindled and my social mission supported and strengthened – from revolution (re-evolving – re-awakening!) to Don Quixote the chat was mighty.  The lesson – no matter what you do, even if you think it’s a bit too ‘out there’, there is always someone that is further along that road waiting to inspire you and egg you on.  See him live here speaking about this on TedX  or just put ChocoSol into YouTube to find the many lovely little films they’ve made about their project.  Thank you Michael!

 

TASTE OF WEST CORK  As soon as we got back from Canada I hit the ground running, reunited with Claudia (our newest team member) and running a brilliant day of workshops in Skibereen.  We had a packed out kids demo followed by a Fairtrade wine & truffle party where I had lovely chats with people from near and far about what we do, how we do it and what the motivation behind it is (in a nutshell – chocolate making – using interesting ingredients sourced ethically –  in order to see the benefits we can bring to the communities that we work with and live in, here and overseas).  More of that to come!

DUBLIN TEA & COFFEE FESTIVAL  Next stop was the Dublin Tea & Coffee Festival, IMG_20140914_101224which we were delighted to be invited to to showcase our products and speak about why we use Fairtrade ingredients alongside Miguel Mateo Sebastián of the Manos Campesinas Coffee Co-op, Guatemala.  I couldn’t believe the crowds, 3 days of great new connections, speaking with all kinds of different people from lovely small family business owners to chocoholics and bloggers to packaging manufacturers and of course loads of barristas.  I hear it was 1500 people the first day, 2500 the 2nd and 3000 on the Sunday… amazing, so much positive energy – possibly fueled by so much coffee!

LONDON CHOCOLATE WEEK  After a bit of down
1415656515127time it was on another bus and off to London on a bit of a whim, for the London Chocolate week festivities.  I had 3 days, and with a full line up of inspiring chocolate talks, demos and tastings by other bean-to-bar makers, bloggers and chocoholics there
was plenty to keep me busy.  I was looking forward to meeting Clay Gordon of
1415656466340 chocolatelife.com whose website on chocolate making has been such a endless well of information for me to draw up ideas and inspiration from, so was delighted to catch him for a quick chat between talks.  I also met Duffy Sheardon one of the UK’s first and bean-to-bar manufacturers among others that I was only hearing about for the first time.  I came
 back with an absolute haul of chocolate from all over the world and we’ve been seriously enjoying comparing all the different flavour profiles and sharing with whoever pops by at choc-o-clock 🙂

FACTORY UPDATE!  Last but not least of course – our Phase 1 chocolate factory is well under way!  We just finished installing a counter down one wall and the minute it was up we loaded up with our shiny new tempering machine, conche, grinder and rolled our IMG_20141110_212458snazzy new trolley underneath all ready for back to production tomorrow!  We’ve had some great new customers come on board BlockT, a community gallery space in Dublin, our first out of the country, IndieFude in Northern Ireland, and our first in our neighbouring town Bandon, An Tobair a very lovely wholefood shop.

So all that to say though I’ve been very quiet the wheels are turning, so fast in fact I’m just doing by best to keep hold of the reins!  Christmas market season is now fast approaching and of course as always I’m offering 10% off all Christmas orders placed between now and December 8th, drop me an 1415656859724email, give us a ring or pop into the market.

This year we’ve started making a new recipe of West Cork Whiskey Truffles and they are delicious, decadent creamy whiskey centres dipped in dark chocolate and boxed up to share… I’m only making small batches so do get your order in early if you fancy some for Christmas!

See you soon! A & the CC team 🙂


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