Butlers Chocolates has secured planning permission for a significant extension to its Dublin headquarters as it expands its product range for Ireland and export markets.
The successful chocolatier, which also runs a chain of coffee shops, has been given the go-ahead to construct a new building that will provide extra warehouse space for the business.
"We are always working on developing new chocolates and gift packs, for Ireland and export markets, and just need a bit more space to accommodate this," said a spokeswoman.
There are currently five outlets in New Zealand. The first opened in Wellington in 2007 under a franchise agreement with Irish expat Peter Kelly. He's a former Progressive Democrat and Fine Gael local councillor. He moved to New Zealand in 2006.
In August last year, the first Butlers cafe was opened in the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai. Last May, an outlet opened in Abu Dhabi. The UAE franchise was secured by a company called Prime Hospitality, which is headed by local businessman Nawwaf Ghobash.
There's also an outlet in London and the company also operates a popular 'Chocolate Experience' visitor centre at its base in Clonshaugh, north Dublin.
Butlers is owned by the Sorensen family and headed by managing director Colm. Butlers was founded in Dublin in 1932 by Marion Butler. She sold the company in 1959 to Seamus Sorensen, from Cork. The first Butlers cafe opened in 1998 in Dublin. The business is unlimited and so does not file publicly available accounts.