Luxury chocolate maker Neary Nogs in Northern Ireland has seen online sales soar to over 70 percent of its business in the past few months. The fast growth has also seen significant sales to the US, Britain, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands,Spain and Germany.
The artisan business, which is located in Northern Ireland’s iconic Mourne Mountains, near Rostrevor in county Down, has just launched a subscription which is contributing to the impressive growth in the family enterprise’s business.
Owned by husband and wife chocolatiers Shane and Dorothy Neary, the company recently opened a unique chocolate factory and visitor centre. “We’ve had to adapt our whole business model and shelve our plans to host tours because of the coronavirus,” explains Shane Neary.
“This meant switching virtually everything online and the development of initiatives such as our special subscription boxes of our hand crafted chocolates. A few weeks ago our online sales accounted for around 10 percent of our business due to our focus on markets and smaller retailers. Everything has changed from the advent of Covid-19,” he adds.
The enterprise has won a series of awards for the outstanding quality and wide range of chocolates including drinking chocolate powder from influential bodies such as the UK Great Taste Awards.
Subscribers are able to use the company’s website to sign up for a well-stocked box of delicious cacao nibs, drinking chocolate, a bar of the month, a chocolate sale of the month, sea salted caramel cups and a mystery item at £24.99 a month. Packaging and postage is freeto subscribers.
“The new subscription service enables lovers of luxury, handcrafted chocolates to enjoy them every month without having to remember to buy,” adds Mr Neary.“The boxes will arrive whenever they specify, making it easier than to enjoy fine, handmade chocolates,”
The small company has pledged its support for NHS professionals during the current crisis by offering subscribers the opportunity to nominate a key worker to receive a special chocolate donation.
Mr Neary continues: “Every time we sign up a new subscriber we will post out some free chocolate to any NHS staff member they nominate or anyone they feel deserves some love. At the Checkout, all the subscriber has to do is enter an address and name for the free chocolate to go to and we will do the rest!
“We decided to develop this service for nominated healthcare staff because we’ve received tremendous help and support from the NHS over many years and we appreciate greatly the expertise and assistance that our family has experienced,” Mr Neary adds. “Healthcare professionals are currently working in the most extreme conditions in the efforts to defeat the virus. They deserve support from everyone,” he adds.
“We’ve also seen a heart warming trend of chocolates being ordered by people for delivery to family and friends with notes of kindness and encouragement.”