Written by Melanie May
The glorious combination of chocolate and strawberries is one of life’s simple pleasures. Not only that, but they offer some health benefits due to the nutrients in the chocolate and the berries. It is our favourite way of getting our five a day.
If you also love chocolate covered strawberries, then you’ll be delighted to know that there is an Irish company making these delectable delights.
Finch & Berry, based in North Dublin, take the sweetest Irish strawberries and cover them in highest quality Belgian chocolate – milk, dark, white or ruby – and display them in the prettiest of packages.
Finch & Berry also makes the most delicious handmade chocolate creations using the finest Belcolade and Callebaut Belgian chocolate.
The products are not only visually delightful but they are a gourmet pleasure.
We caught up with Kate Van to find out more about Finch & Berry and these scrumptious creations.
Hey Kate, go ahead and tell us a bit about the people behind Finch & Berry.
As George Benson’s famous song goes, it is just the two of us. David, my partner, and I both have a sweet tooth and are passionate about supplying the Capital with our treats. We share tasks between ourselves which includes marketing and a very strong social media presence, communication with our customers. Research of new décor, themes, designs and of course, actually making the product and delivering it.
Tell us a bit about what Finch & Berry is and does?
Finch & Berry is a boutique desserts factory as we call it. The name itself comes from the fact that I (Kate) find finch birds to be the most beautiful and colourful and berries are their (and our) favourite fruit.
The company offers Belgian chocolate covered strawberries, handmade chocolate treats, strawberry bouquets and strawberry towers. Weddings are big for us, however, we receive numerous orders for our strawberry boxes as a gift for birthday, baby showers, bridal showers or simply dates.
What made you decide to set up Finch & Berry. What was the inspiration?
We took the inspiration from Instagram. Cutting-edge desserts and baking were (and are) on the rise. We have seen some amazing ideas. Then we thought about what product isn’t offered in Dublin and decided to build a brand around chocolate covered strawberries. Apart from being delicious, aesthetically pleasing food is a big trend right now.
How do you choose your suppliers?
We try to support local Irish suppliers. Strawberries are supplied locally. Big focus is on organic, natural product, including pure Belgian chocolate. We do not use chocolate-flavoured candy melts, or artificial sweeteners. Thankfully, there are some amazing Irish shops that offer pure and natural supplies, to ensure the highest quality of our treats.
Where do you get your creative inspiration for your delicious products?
We follow lots of culinary and baking pages on Instagram. Most of them don’t even do chocolate covered strawberries, but their cake, cupcake and various dessert décor gives us an inspiration. Other times we simply stroll through confectionary aisles to see what sweets we can experiment with and come up with flavour combos. Good thing is, we get to eat whatever we experiment with.
How is it all going for you so far?
Thanks to unparalleled support from the Irish community and influencers, we are doing well. We closed down for few weeks due to COVID-19, but we are now open and supplying the city with our treats.
What’s been the biggest challenge you have had to face?
Biggest challenge so far has been the arrangements for nationwide delivery. We transport our products for the large orders like weddings to the nearest counties, but we want to expand without compromising on our top priority, which is the freshness. This is something we are still working on.
What makes Finch & Berry unique?
I would say that it is our three “pillars”.
Irish. Fresh. Handcrafted.
No matter the type or the size of the order, we ensure these three are always present at the same time. I think customers love that part too.
What is your favourite part of what you do and why?
Favourite part is finding something new on the internet and then experimenting with it in our way. For example, it could be a new colour that we get by combining some food dye or it could be a new candy that will work very well with specific type of chocolate. We lately discovered an actual Ruby chocolate, which is sour and goes extremely well with dark chocolate décor.
What is your favourite type of chocolate or describe your favourite chocolate experience?
We have such a sweet tooth, it is very hard to pick a favourite chocolate. However, one of our most memorable chocolate experiences is when we were traveling to Latvian capital, Riga. We attended markets which were set up during the national holiday week. There, we drank a real hot chocolate – an actual melted chocolate to drink, no powder, no water – we still remember how it tasted.
How has Finch & Berry evolved since you first started?
We started small, making taster boxes of four strawberries only. It went to the nearest and dearest. When we got the feedback, we decided to grow.
At first, we offered collection only and chocolate covered strawberries were it. We then added handmade chocolate hearts and chocolate towers since the wedding couples were really getting interested with our product.
It accelerated a lot, especially after we received a lot of support from the Irish influencers. We have extended our product range and delivery areas ever since and we have lots more in progress.
What tips would you give to someone who wants to start up their own food business in Ireland?
Do your research. And continue doing so. Continuous research of business features and innovations ensures any business stays fresh, relevant and interesting to the community.
What does the future hold for Finch & Berry?
An actual shop. And we are so excited about it. We were aiming for it for this summer, but the pandemic certainly changed our plans, like everyone else’s. However we are still very committed to having a beautiful little shop open with floral walls and a chocolate fountain. We will keep our community posted.
And we will be the first in line to get our hands, and mouths, on your beautiful products.