Welcome back for another entry of Tom’s wonderful Blog! This week I’m talking to and aboutHelen, the person responsible for all the sweet things in our shop, so if you are one of our many customers who frequently buys our chocolates or sweets blame Helen for tempting you. Helen completed a degree in Science at Trinity College (Preeetty Smart) however she felt that Science was not for her and that the world of food was much more interesting. Helen moved down to Limerick where she got a job as a Chocolatier in Cocoa Bean in which her responsibilities included actually making the chocolate! Cocoa Bean was taken over by Skellig’s Chocolates (which we have an abundance of in store and is very tasty) and Helen continued to work with them for a spell. A trip to India followed before moving on to Galway where she got a job in Sheridan’s cheese mongers just down the road. So as well as having a vast knowledge of chocolate, she knows a good bit about cheese also. After working there Helen got the urge to travel again returning back to India, her favourite country she’s been to so far (But plans to visit a lot more). Helen’s trip to India got her interested in alternative medicine.
Helen really comes into her own during Easter, Christmas and Valentines when Chocolate and all things sweet goes crazy and its thanks to her that couples and children alike are happy and not killing each other during the holidays. Plenty of times Helen has saved me when my almost “perfect” knowledge of all the products comes into question, Someone comes into the shop and asks for “A Gluten and dairy free box of chocolates but with liquorice?” or “Marzipan chocolates without marzipan in them” (Something crazy like that) I become befuddled, look towards Helen with panic in my eyes and shout -“HELEN!” she comes over and saves the day “Helen will help you, she knows all about the sweet stuff!” I move along very quickly.
Helen, having a vast knowledge of foods and sweets also has an interest in alternative medicine having studied in Dublin for three years; she is now a fully trained acupuncturist. This has proved a revelation at work… Luke the boss has never been more “Zen like” before and a Zen like boss means less shouty and happier staff! I have to say there was nothing more amusing then walking into the office to see Luke’s face and legs covered in needles with his trouser legs rolled up and not been able to move. “Get out Tom, you’re ruining my Zen”, I didn’t leave, I took out my phone and took pictures instead much to his disgruntlement. (I have the photos if you want to see them). So if Luke the boss can get that chilled out it will do wonders for you, so don’t be afraid to come in and ask about getting some very relaxing acupuncture done and I’m sure an appointment can be made, as well as Luke, Natalie McCambridge swears by it to.
Helen’s favourite chocolate is the Wilkie’s bar, an organic chocolate which is the only bar in Ireland made from “cocoa bean to bar” one of our many Irish brands of sweet things. I asked her why it was her favourite. And her response surprised me. “Because they are delicious and they are dairy free” – Are you lactose intolerant? “No, I just don’t like milk” – Wow! You work with chocolates but you don’t like milk? – “Yes, but there are so many alternatives which are just as tasty if not more so, I love dark chocolate”. Fair enough, I do love the days Helen does tastings, throwing a bit of chocolate into a bowl for the customers to try and of course the staff as well, (it’s very important that the staff knows there products and you can’t have enough tasting…) Outside of work Helen loves to travel, if you haven’t guessed already, having being around Asia and Europe, she also loves music festivals and is heading to the Body and Soul Festival this summer where she will also be working at it.
So that’s Helen! If you have any questions about sweet stuff or fancy getting a few needles put into you come into the shop and talk to Helen, she’ll be more than happy to help! Talk to you soon!