Academy awards for small Belfast chocolatier

CoCouture, the Belfast-based gourmet chocolatier, has struck gold…and bronze… at the fourth annual Academy of Chocolate Awards. It’s the first time a company from Northern Ireland has been successful at the prestigious awards.

The Invest Northern Ireland client company, formed in 2008 by Deirdre McCanny, gained a gold award for its honeycomb bar in the ‘Best Flavoured Milk Chocolate Bar’ category and bronze for its rum and raisin bar in the ‘Best Flavoured Dark Chocolate Bar’ category. The Academy of Chocolate awards follow Co Couture’s success in winning a series of Great Taste Awards last year.

Invest NI has provided start-up support and marketing mentoring to CoCouture.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Food Director, congratulating CoCouture on its latest success, said: “This is an important endorsement of the quality and innovation that underpins the products now being developed by this entrepreneurial business.”

Ms McCanny said: “Winning gold and bronze awards at the first attempt is a marvellous endorsement by fellow gourmet chocolatiers of the quality and rich flavour of the chocolates that I am now producing in Belfast with Invest NI’s encouragement.

“Invest NI’s very practical support, particularly from its Food team has been extremely important in the development of my business model. This support has helped me to further develop the products and also a marketing strategy that I hope will result in further growth in sales particularly in markets outside Northern Ireland,” she added.

“It’s tremendously encouraging to win such prestigious recognition. This will help me as I step up my marketing drive to win business in the markets that I have pinpointed as offering the best growth potential for luxury chocolates.