Ireland’s first Fairtrade bean-to-bar chocolate factory launched in Clonakilty


Posted on: 9th March, 2015

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: West Cork People

After a busy year of research and growth, founder Allison Roberts and the team at Clonakilty Chocolate is celebrating the official launch of it’s new Fairtrade bean-to-bar factory this week in conjunction with Fairtrade fortnight, which runs until March 8.

Thanks to the tremendous support by the people of Clonakilty through a crowdfunding campaign ran last summer, the small local business has expanded — purchasing supplies and machinery needed to take a great leap forward, creating a garden chocolate factory within minutes walk of the town centre. Now a team of four, Clonakilty Chocolate is delighted to unveil its brand new artisan bars, which are both gluten free and diabetic friendly.

Among the artisan flavours to be launched are: ‘Milky Milk’ — a goat’s milk bar with coconut sugar; ‘Decadent Dark’ — a 72 per cent sweetened with Xylitol and Peruvian Lucuma Fruit; ‘Totally Minted’ — a 75 pc sweetened bar with Low-GI (diabetic friendly) coconut sugar and; ‘Wild West’ — with a pinch of Irish Salt and Seaweed.

Being a supporter of Fairtrade — where farmers and workers receive a fair price and wage for their product — ensures that when Clonakilty Chocolate is purchased, farmers in Ghana also get a sweet deal for their hard work, something Allison and her team at Clonakilty Chocolate are hugely proud of.

Speaking of the launch, Allison Roberts said, “I am thrilled to finally launch our new bars, which have been in the making since last Autumn. The new flavours are really exciting and it’s fantastic to be doing something completely unique, which also makes a difference to the farmers from where we source our beans. In 2013, I had the opportunity to visit Ghana see first-hand the positive impact my small business is able to have on the lives these farmers so when I came back I was even more committed to growing Clonakilty Chocolate. I went from making regular milk, dark and white chocolate bars to getting focused on doing something different placing Clonakilty Chocolate in a niche space as local, ethical and alternative chocolate company.  My mission is always to come up with flavours that are exciting and new and of course, healthier. I am also delighted to be able to offer workshops for adults and children from our new garden workshop, something I have never had the space to do before!”

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Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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