On Wednesday, March 22nd our 5th year LCVP class along with Ms. Dillane & Ms. Tobin visited Skelligs Chocolate Factory in Ballinskelligs in West Kerry, as part of our Enterprise and World of Work studies. We learned a lot about the chocolate business, entrepreneurship and about managing a business. Colm Healy, the owner of the factory, spoke to us about his journey in developing the only fully open plan chocolate production facility in Ireland.
Joanne told us all about her role in marketing and social media and how she has developed the online presence of the business, to where online sales account for over 50% of sales.
Colm is originally from Ireland and he spent 5 years in Australia and Asia. He returned to Ireland in 2004 to take over the Skelligs Chocolate factory. Since then the number of staff has grown from 6 to 20 with a third expansion to the factory planned for the coming year.
They make the chocolate using only the finest and exotic ingredients such as French Champagne and Brandy, Jamaican Rum, Turkish Fruit and Hazelnuts and Australian Ginger. Visitors travel from all around the world to experience the many different flavours of chocolate such as orange, gin and tonic, Irish honey and salted caramel. Other products include chocolate truffles, drops, brittle, lollies, easter eggs, clusters, hot chocolates and even chocolate shoes.
Pictured below are some of the group after sampling some of the chocolate that the factory makes. Many thanks to Colm, Joanne and Kerry-Anne for enabling us to have this visit and making us feel so welcome on a great day out.
Students are in the process of writing up their Summary Reports on this trip for their Portfolios.
From Left to Right: Owen Mason, Darrion Hurley, John Walsh, Jack Rogers, John Ward