With news just in that Gráinne Mullins has been included on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, Ciara McQuillan speaks to the chocolatier and pastry chef …
2023 is certainly off to a promising start for pastry chef and businesswoman Gráinne Mullins of Grá Chocolates. Since starting her business in 2020, Mullins and Grá Chocolates have taken the luxury chocolate world by storm and it appears not to have gone unnoticed by the people at Forbes Magazine. The US publication has given the Irishwoman and her business the seal of approval by including her on the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list of leading young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.
Mullins previously spent two years working in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Aix-en-Provence, France before winning the prestigious 2019 Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year award which is impressive for a self-taught chef.
“I’m actually over the moon, I can’t believe it, it’s all a bit surreal,” Mullins exclaims, the excitement still evident in her voice. “It’s definitely going to bring more awareness to the brand internationally which is amazing. It just puts us at a different level.” With a 2022 turnover of close to €1m, Mullins and her team have come a long way since the lowly beginnings of creating luxury chocolates in her parent’s garden shed in Galway. Today Grà Chocolates employs 18 people with many delicious plans for the future in the chocolatey pipeline which include partnering with a leading hotel chain and exciting plans to expand the business internationally along with the existing concessions in Brown Thomas.
Grá Chocolates are created using Valrhona Chocolate, Casa Luker cocoa butter and of course, the world’s best dairy produce, Irish cream and butter. But which flavour is her favourite? I get the impression that asking this question is like asking someone their favourite child. “Oh I go through phases. Originally it was the mint chocolate but I also love passion fruit white chocolate truffle that comes with the white chocolate Easter egg. It’s fruity and zesty, it’s just really, really delicious. I also love the Turkish delight or the pineapple with pineapple jam, lime and vanilla and white chocolate casing. It’s just so good.”
Other Irish names to appear on the prestigious list for 2023 include: Aisling Byrne, founder of clothing exchange app Nuw; Jack O’Meara, co-founder of biotech company, Ochre Bio; Dan Mullins and Ciaran O’Mara of Protex AI; Liam McMahon, co-founder of Beyond Creative; and Ruth Williams of BNY Mellon.