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10th Nov 2020

A labour of love and chocolate: How one Irish mum made a business out of helping her daughter

Trine Jensen-Burke


Necessity is the mother of invention.

When Noele McEvoy’s 13-year-old daughter Laura was diagnosed with severe eczema, her doctors told her to stay away from dairy, gluten and sugar, all of which could trigger her painful skin condition.

This, explains McEvoy, was hard for a “chocolate-loving teenager!”

Worried her little girl might feel left out at birthday parties, or feel like her dietary restrictions would be a burden, Noele set to work.

Spurred on by feeling bad that her daughter couldn’t enjoy sweet treats, the crafty mother started experimenting at her kitchen table, and ended up creating some very healthy – and delicious snacks.

At first, the crafty mum just started making chocolates and desserts for parties and sleepovers for her daughter and her friends. Soon, word spread about Noele’s delicious treats, and friends and family started asking for her treats whenever there were gatherings and get-togethers.

The chocolate, nut and raisin snacks were made using only four wholefood ingredients, and were vegan, gluten, dairy and sugar-free, as well as organic.

Seeing how much family and friends loved her nutritious and simple snacks made Noele feel like she might just be on to something with her natural and wholefood treats, and she started to spend even more time at her kitchen table, honing the final products.

And her work paid off. After a couple of years fine-tuning her recipes, Noele launched Supernature into the market late last year.

Each snack is made using only a tiny number of organic ingredients – the chocolate is made using cacao and coconut sugar, and Noele just adds deep roasted nuts and fruit for her four different products – Peanut Butter Cups, Hazelnut Clusters, Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts and Raspberry Chocolate Raisins.

Amazingly, the products have nothing else added, no palm oil or flavourings, no sugar.

Since the launch of Supernature last year, Noele and her husband and business partner, Brendan, have since secured a nationwide distribution deal with Dunnes Stores and is also available in over 1,000 convenience and health food outlets throughout Ireland, UK and throughout Europe.

Speaking about her success story, Noele explains:

“It’s a passion project and I totally believed in what we were doing. It became my dream to have snacks available in everyday stores, so that Laura and everyone else who loved chocolate but wanted or needed to have a healthier alternative could simply go to their local convenience or health store and find Supernature.”

These days, consumers are more educated about the food they are eating, and are looking for healthier options. And Noele might have just given them just that.