Sweet success for chocolatier after fire
AFTER an uncertain year, employees at a remote chocolate factory are back at work meeting the demands of a busy Christmas market.
Only 12 months ago, the factory burned to the ground, leaving 14 people out of work and its owner wondering how he'd ever recover.
But chocolatier Colm Healy rebuilt Skelligs Chocolate and Cocoa Bean Company in St Fenian's Bay, Co Kerry.
"It's been a tough year but the support we've received has been great," Mr Healy told the Irish Independent.
"We're still not back to full capacity but that's our aim for the year ahead."
After the fire on November 13 last year, Mr Healy was also forced to close his Skelligs Chocolate Cafe in Killarney because he had no stock, with the loss of a further three jobs.
The Dubliner took over the factory seven years ago from Michael and Amanda MacGabhann.
"My sister had been living down here for a number of years and I came to visit her and the opportunity came up," he says.
Mr Healy met his wife Nickie in Kerry and the couple married in May. They're expecting their first baby in April.
"We're in the middle of one of our busiest times of the year. The peak has been and it's just top-up orders we're doing now," he added.