Started in 2017, Refuge Chocolate began with their signature hot chocolate and have since branched out into other forms of chocolatey goodness. Through the power of chocolate, Refuge helps to give people a brighter future to those individuals affected by human trafficking. They donate their proceeds to the charity Flourish NI which ensures the money is put to good use combatting the problem.
FOUNDER: Tara Mullan
'Not being a tea or coffee drinker I spent many years sampling the hot chocolate drinks throughout Ireland and beyond, never quite getting one that hit the taste buds of how I thought a hot chocolate should taste. Until a few years ago I went skiing in Andora and tasted something that hit the spot. It was strong, thick and had so much taste. More like melted chocolate than the expensive dish water I was often served in cafes.
This awakening must have been filed away in the depths of my brain and came to the fore when I was trying to come up with a solution to financially support a local anti-human trafficking charity I volunteer for. I briefly tested several ideas of projects to raise finance for the charity. Until one day the name Refuge and hot chocolate literally dropped into my head. This is when I started experimenting with recipes I read about and ones I made up. Once I got closer to what I thought was a good tasting drink I asked friends to test some and give me feedback. After this I had the recipe for the original chocolate. It's still the same recipe we use today.' – Tara Mullan