Founded in the nineties, Áine Handmade Chocolate began as a speciality handmade chocolate business selling chocolate gift boxes and specialist chocolate items for the corporate sector. The business relocated to a premises in the tiny picturesque village of Stradone, Co. Cavan, Ann’s Home village where she grew up.
However, when the recession hit, the business took a nose dive and in order to survive, Anne had to completely reinvent what they did and so Áine Hand Made Chocolate bars were created to target the retail sector.
Anne started to reinvent the business by launching 100g bars of both milk and dark chocolate. With the help of the Food Academy, these took off and they have now extended the range and sell over 18 different flavours of chocolate bars, which are all gluten free, and hand made. Again, motivated by the opportunity that SuperValu presented, Ann also undertook a complete review of the brand and invested in brighter, more modern packaging to help the products to stand out on the shelves of Supervalu stores.
The company is predicting a 10% increase in sales for 2016 and hope to create 4 new full time jobs directly as a result of their participation in the Food Academy.