Chocolate making came about due to the fact that I could not find a dark chocolate to my taste, a dark chocolate version of a milk chocolate hazelnut and raisin bar. Once I started experimenting with the chocolate making technique, the flavour combinations started to flow.
My friends and family became my testers and they encouraged me to take the next step and start selling my chocolates, which lead to the establishment of Jude’s Chocolates. I started selling chocolates in the run up to Christmas 2015.
There are five generations of traders/entrepreneurs on my mothers side of the family, so I don’t get it from the stones. My great great grandmother grew and sold fruit and vegetables. Once a week she even sold fish. She took a horse and cart to Dursey Head bought the fish and sold them all the way back to Rosmacowen. Her daughter, my great grandmother, was a herbalist. Her son, my grandfather, owned and ran a small fleet of taxis in Limerick. My grandmother also bought and sold caravans. My mother has been in business as far back as I can remember. She has been my main influence in driving my business forward. Her example has shown me that I can do anything I put my mind to - as long as I have a passion for what I am doing.
Most of my professional life has been spent in kitchens or making food products. My first job was in a pizza and ice cream take-away. I loved the buzz I got from being in the kitchen. Over the next 12 years I worked in different types of kitchen in Ireland and the United States. But burn out set in and I no longer had the same passion for baking and cooking as I did when I started.
It wasn’t until I started making chocolates for myself that the passion for food returned. When I developed my line of chocolates it was important that the chocolates taste like the flavour that they are. I didn’t want them just to have a faint hint of the flavour.
This is my current collection of flavours:
Peanut and Caramel