'Honoured': Coleraine chocolate maker, Geri Martin.
'Honoured': Coleraine chocolate maker, Geri Martin.

An award-winning Coleraine chocolate maker yesterday showcased their products for royalty and business leaders at the Pitch@Palace competition in St James’ Palace in London.

Chocolate Manor was one of just 12 elite UK food and drink businesses invited to take part in the prestigious entrepreneurial event - and the only one from Northern Ireland.

Chocolate Manor's bespoke chocolates were ordered by St James' Palace.

Chocolate Manor's bespoke chocolates were ordered by St James' Palace.

Speaking exclusively to The Coleraine Times, owner Geri Martin, said she was both honoured and thrilled to provide her bespoke chocolates for more than 500 guests.

“It is truly an honour to be chosen as one of the 12 UK Food and Drink entrepreneurs to showcase their products as part of the Pitch@Palace competition,” said Geri.

“We were delighted when we first received word that they would like to sample our handcrafted chocolates, but to be selected as part of the offering for 550 guests at St James’ Palace, is simply incredible.”

‘Pitch@Palace 4.0’ focused on the Internet of Things and Smart Cities, with a specific emphasis upon products and services that are helping to create a smarter world.

Entrepreneurs from across the UK in fields such as Energy, Fitness & Wellbeing, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, Smart Cities, Smart Home and Transportation entered the competition.

And following a Pitch@Palace Bootcamp 42 entrepreneurs had the opportunity to hear from leading industry experts and Pitch@Palace alumni, as well as receiving coaching and mentoring on their businesses and their pitches.

Applicants pitched to a panel of judges, who selected the finalists to pitch at St. James’s Palace on Monday.

Geri added: “When I established The Chocolate Manor back in 2012, little did I know that I would be making chocolates bound for Buckingham Palace as I approach the business’s third birthday.

“To have the opportunity to showcase our unique products to potential supporters such as CEOs, Angels, Mentors and Business Partners is a fantastic opportunity, and we are delighted to be representing Northern Ireland at the event.”

“This has been an incredible year for us – we launched our new retail range of printed bars, we were named finalists in the Causeway Chamber Awards, and we are nominated in the Best Marketing Campaign category at the Women in Business Awards next month,” said Geri.

“We recently began supplying a select range for a number of the Hastings Hotels Groups, and all this in addition to our royal order,” added Geri.