Colm Healy's high quality chocolate operation is in a remote location at St Finian's Bay on the Ring of Kerry, overlooking the mystical Skellig islands. Yet, thanks to its unique appeal, it - together with Noelle Campbell-Sharp's wonderful Cill Rialaig Centre (art exhibitions, shop & café), which is nearby - Skelligs and Cocoa Bean Chocolates have made the Skellig Ring a destination for visitors as diverse as families on holiday, dedicated food lovers and art collectors.
Following a fire in 2010 the factory was re-built from scratch, and re-opened in 2012, complete with a smart new café serving tea, coffee and their own special hot chocolate; you'll also find treats like home made cakes and desserts, but not 'meals' so this is a place for a snack rather than a lunch stop.
Each batch of chocolates takes about five days to produce and visitors are welcome to watch the process - and indulge in some sample tasting too...
Some of the flavours change with the seasons - their 60 varieties of truffles, for example, may include Violet & Champagne for spring, Raspberry & Coconut for summer and Hot Toddy (Whiskey & Chilli) in winter.
But some specialties are available all year - notably their beautiful round wooden handpainted presentation boxes, which are available for various occasions but make particularly special new baby gifts. A newer range which looks set to be a great success is individually packed chocolate letters and numbers - another charming gift idea.
The gorgeous Cocoa Bean flavoured chocolate bars are also made at the factory. Well known for their colourful packaging and unusual flavours (anyone for Gin & Tonic?), they're quite widely stocked in quality food outlets and gift shops.