Pandora Bell travelled Europe in the 1930’s discovering the most excellent and divine in European Confectionery. She dreamt of bringing the knowledge of generations of chefs and artisans home to Ireland.
The Village of Kildare 1936
“I have just arrived back from London, I have suitcases full of treats and recipes for sweets in my luggage. I really do think this is my moment… now it is time to take a break from my journey and start selling my creations at home…. I have a plan of how to do it, I hope I can make it work.
“ I am going to spend this Christmas with my Uncle.”
“Uncle David works at the National Stud, in Kildare which is famous worldwide for its horses. David has an old horsebox that is no longer being used, I know it may sound a bit silly and far fetched, but I have this idea that I could clean it out, install a little counter top and Voila…. it would make the cutest little sweet shop ever.”
“Mum says I am being silly, I will freeze, the sweets will freeze, the candles will go out…. But I am determined. I have a simple yet perfect recipe for Handmade Candy Canes. I am going to stripe them a Traditional red and white and flavour them with a warm vanilla. The people of Kildare will love them… and who could possibly worry about the cold when there are lots of treats and smiling happy customers…. I can’t wait.”
By Christmas week 1936, Pandora Bell’s dream had come true. For the month of December she kneaded and rolled and coloured and wrapped her sugar canes in a kitchen outside Kildare Village. The staff of the National Stud, fired up by all the festive enthusiasm helped to clean and hammer and scrub and paint until the Horsebox looked as Pandora Bell had pictured.
She was ready to go…
“I am nervous and excited all at once, I hope I have not forgotten anything. It all looks so pretty. It is one thing to have a dream, but it is a very special feeling to be able to see it through. Every Candy Cane and Sweet tells a story, I can’t wait to start to share those stories with my customers…. I hope they come along!”
They came….. with curiousity.
They came with a smile.
They came to see this odd girl in a horsebox.
But curious glances quickly turned to warm smiles as the people of Kildare tasted their first Handmade Candy Canes and heard about Pandora Bell’s solo Journey around Europe to find them.
Lasting Christmas Traditions were made that week in Kildare Village as children brought home their first ever Candy Canes to decorate their Christmas Trees.
2016…. Eighty years later
The modern Pandora Bell ladies are also bustling around preparing for Christmas. History has come full circle and Pandora Bell Confectionery has a fully refurbished Horse Box for the month of December in Kildare Village.
The ladies will be tasting and telling about their confections and delights in the run up to Christmas.
Like their muse Pandora Bell, 80 years ago, they will feel the frostbite, they will feel the Christmas magic and they will bring their Connoisseurs Confectionery to kids from 1 to 92 all this Foodie Festive Season.