Supporting Irish business is a passion of ours at Image, and it's easy with so many entrepreneurial and innovative Irish businesses to buy from. From now until Christmas we are highlighting Irish businesses or business people that we are excited about. Today it's Hazel Mountain Chocolate, one of the few bean-to-bar chocolatiers in the country.
What is your name, and what is your business?
Kasha Connolly, Hazel Mountain Chocolate.
How long have you been in business? And what was your mission from the outset?
We opened in 2014. From day one we have been committed to supporting 'the little guy’ and fostering direct relationships with cocoa bean farmers and co-operatives. Not only is this the right thing to do but we promise you’ll taste the difference.
Of what part of your business are you proudest?
Putting dignity back into the chocolate production process. Making chocolate directly from cacao bean accounts to only two per cent of chocolate factories world-wide that make chocolate themselves as opposed sourcing it commercially. We make a point of only using the best ingredients, ethically sourced from co-operatives and family-run cacao farms, from around the globe to bring you the very best that chocolate has to offer.
Who are your heroes?
Barbara Corcoran; there are many amazing people in my life whom I admire for many different reasons but I am continually inspired by my husband’s strong-minded determination.
How have you found the last six months?
Challenging, I had to reinvent myself and look at how I live my life and run my business and change it for the better. In a way, the pandemic has forced me to be more efficient in life and in business.
What keeps you positive?
Comfort food, meditation, Zoom chats with family and friends.
What new perspective have you gained from 2020?
Enjoy the small things and enjoy the now.
Best/worst moment from 2020?
The best moment is now ... when we have Christmas coming and something to look forward to; it’s such a wonderful, festive time, customers are getting into festive mood already. The worst is not having seen my close family in a year …
How will you celebrate Christmas this year?
It will be hard not to have my family around but I am planning to host a Polish/Irish Christmas this year for my closest friends whom I haven’t seen in seven months and my husband’s family.
Another Irish business you want to shine a spotlight on?
New Moon Blooms, new floral shop by the amazing wedding planner Sharon Griffin, in Dublin. They are launching now and have lots happening.
Anything else you would like to let us know?
Our gift boxes! This year is our first year we have worked with large multinationals and tech companies and we really enjoy putting together personalised gifts for their staff. They are also available in our online shop as well. They have our favourite chocolates, most of which we only make once a year for Christmas, they’re very special.
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