Wednesday 21 February 2018

Irish chocolate company expands sales and workforce since Dragon’s Den appearance

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Magic Mayan, the Irish raw chocolate business, has expanded its sales into Northern Ireland and is growing in size following owner Darren O’Connor’s appearance on RTE’s Dragon’s Den.

While the county Clare family business did not secure an investment from the five dragons, in the days after filming the company signed a contract to export its chocolate and protein bombs into the UK via Northern Ireland.

Employing five people and with plans to expand the workforce and production of chocolate and protein bombs even further in the coming months, the artisan raw chocolate business continues to grow.

“We are currently selling 35,000 protein bombs a month and more than 1,000 bars of hand made chocolate each week through our Irish distributors, and online,” explained Darren, who took over Magic Mayan two years ago with his wife Sinead.

“The protein bomb market is growing at a huge rate internationally as people are becoming more and more conscious about what they eat. Busy professionals who plan their snacks, those that work out regularly and members of sports clubs are also big supporters of our most popular product.”

Read more: Dragons entrants must clue up or they're toast

“Our 14 different certified organic, deeply dark, dairy free, gluten free and soya free raw chocolate bars are proving very popular in many of Ireland’s best known health stores, and the fact our raw chocolate is minimally processed using only high-quality basic ingredients, it retains essential vitamins and minerals,” added Darren, who as well as managing the production of the Magic Mayan bars, is also the chief chocolatier.

In Dragon’s Den, Darren had sought a €48k investment for a 10pc stake in his family business.

Had he secured this funding he would have allocated it to upgrading the chocolate factory and installing a new chocolate tempering machine, while also bringing forward plans to invest in new packaging for the protein bombs, and invest in marketing.

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