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Saturday 21 April 2018

These chocolatiers have it cracked

The Chocolate Garden of Ireland factory in Rath, Co Wicklow. Picture: Garry O'Neill
The Chocolate Garden of Ireland factory in Rath, Co Wicklow. Picture: Garry O'Neill
Colm Healy. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

Majella O'Sullivan and Emma Jane Hade

Chocolatier Colm Healy has produced about 10,000 eggs this Easter.

The run-up to Easter at his Skelligs Chocolate Factory on the Ring of Kerry is the busiest after the Christmas rush.

Mr Healy doesn't see Easter as a time of over-indulgence and thinks most of his customers have observed a period of abstinence and deserve a treat this weekend.

"It's part of the Easter tradition to observe Lent and then buy your egg and put it away for Easter Sunday," he said.

"It's an occasion – and we can always work it off afterwards.

"We've also seen a big increase this year in the number of corporate orders and companies treating their workers at Easter, so it's great to see more people spending again."

It's more than welcome news to the chocolatier, just four years after his factory burnt down.

Now it employs 12 people on a full-time basis and nine seasonal staff.

So, for Colm, the nation's passion for chocolate is welcome.

Meanwhile, Jim Haley runs the Chocolate Garden of Ireland with his wife Mary, and they are gearing up for their busiest weekend of the year at their chocolate factory in Rath on the Carlow-Wicklow border.


The family business has been in operation for more than 12 years, and the chocolatier confirmed that the Easter bunny will be making a quick pitstop at the factory to make sure that everyone can indulge this weekend.

"This is our busiest weekend of the year, probably our busiest two weeks of the year," the father of three said.

He said that they had produced in the region of 40,000 chocolate eggs for Easter.

"The biggest one we make normally weigh 6.5kg, but we have made some eggs that weigh up to 9kg. That egg would be a two-hour process," he said.

All the Oompa Loompas have been hard at work in the factory for the past few weeks, and the coveted golden tickets for their special Easter chocolate-making workshops are now in short supply.

Irish Independent

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