Ferdinand and Helena first met in July 1983, when Helena (a second generation Belgian born in Ireland to parents that had emigrated in 1964) was in Belgium visiting Grandparents and Family. After conversing for a year via letters, they started a long distance relationship in 1984 and Helena moving to Belgium in November 1985.
The idea or seed that developed into Chez Emily was first sown in 1992, took a number of years to develop into what was to happen in the summer of 1996.
Ferdinand and Helena moved to Ireland end June 1996 and established Chez Emily Handmade Chocolates on July first of that year. They incidentally named the business after their only daughter Emily.
The early years were a test of endurance, learning to understand how business was conducted in Ireland, further developing the family recipes that were paramount in the chocolate production, launching into retail, business to business and wholesale. Chez Emily also attended country fairs, Christmas events and weekly food markets, including one of the first forerunners, The Temple Bar Food Market. These food markets were filled with up and coming Artisan producers who had similar ideas to that of Ferdinand and Helena. A new breed of foodies, passionate about all things local, artisan and hand crafted.
Chez Emily’s ethos has changed very little in the past 24 years but their passion and dedication has only increased to strive to a sustainable cottage industry, bringing you a truly artisanal handmade product, still produced from the original family recipes with care and motivation.
Chez Emily has grown somewhat in size, has two retail outlets, a strong representation across Ireland, has achieved many awards and accolades and offers you an opportunity to peek inside, get to know us and our chocolates.