The Chocolate Manor in Castlerock crowned the 12th Économusée in Northern Ireland

One of Northern Ireland’s leading artisan chocolatiers has become the first chocolate maker, outside of Canada, to join the exclusive Économusée network.

The Chocolate Manor in Castlerock became the 12th Économusée in Northern Ireland. Along with guests from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Tourism NI and guest speaker Paula McIntyre, Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust launched the artisan chocolatier into this international network of elite artisans, in a chocolate infused celebration.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, councillor Richard Holmes, said: “Council is very proud of the role it has played to help Geri transform her hobby and passion in to a very successful business venture.

“She has participated in our Sales Growth Programme, Alchemy Business Mentoring and received practical support from our Covid recovery grant, Rural Development Programme and most recently the Tourism Excellence Programme, all of which have aided her sales growth strategy and capital purchases.

Geri Martin, NI's 12th Économusée Artisan - The Chocolate Manor

“Through Taste Causeway we have supported Geri and other food artisans to showcase their products at Balmoral Show and BBC Good Food Show, and it’s hugely encouraging to witness her progress, which is based on her exceptional products.

“The Chocolate Manor is a fantastic addition to the thriving Économusée network and I wish her well as she embarks on this next important step.”

Graham Thompson, CEO of the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust, continued: “As with all our Économusée businesses, visitors to The Chocolate Manor will have the opportunity to meet the artisan and discover the history of their craft. Having an Économusée artisan, especially a chocolate one, in this superb coastal location will have a positive impact on the area and will be a valuable addition to the network. We welcome Geri and her team and we look forward to working with you and promoting you locally and internationally.”

Geri, a skilled and passionate artisan chocolatier has worked with 5-star restaurants and some of the biggest names in the culinary industry to produce bespoke chocolates for special occasions. The Chocolate Manor has even had several commissions for members of the Royal Family.

Geri Martin (centre) and her all female team at The Chocolate Manor. Back row -Donna Millen & Amy Cook, Front Row, Jenny O'Brien, Geri Martin & Dawn MacKay

Geri added: “I want to thank everyone who has helped me on this journey. I am excited about the future and look forward to being part of the Économusée network, welcoming chocolate loving visitors from far and wide into our workshop to experience, experiment, indulge and create their own unique handcrafted chocolate treats and build life-long memories along the way. This accolade is truly a dream come true for us.”

For the launch Geri handcrafted a chocolate showpiece that that guests thought was a chocolate cake - there was great excitement when it was revealed that it was a hollow creation, packed full of handmade chocolates crafted by the Chocolate Manor team.

Causeway Coast & Glens Councillor, Stephanie Quigley, Claire Sugden MLA and Graham Thompson, chief executive of Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust with Geri Martin, the Chocolate Manor
Tv Chef Paula McIntyre and Geri Martin
The big reveal of the hollow chocolate showpiece handcrafted for the launch
The chocolate showpiece handcrafted by Chief Chocolatier Geri Martin