As the Lehman Brothers Collapsed and the entire world fell to its knees, Nicole walked away from a pensionable job in RTE to fulfil her childhood dream to become a confectionery queen.
And so the story is told: The confectionery tradition in the Dunphy family dates back to Nicole’s Grand Aunt Dora. Dora had nearly a century before, started the Pandora Bell project: a noble pursuit thwarted by war and eventually restored by the indefatigable entrepreneurship of Nicole.
Our heroine, Pandora Bell, belongs to the Belle époque, that glorious hiatus between wars, when Europe flourished. It is at this time when Pandora Bell, as we will now refer to Nicole’s Grandaunt, travelled Europe in search of both adventures and the best quality confectionery the world had to offer.
This is thus a story of full circles: it started in the Limerick train station in 1928, with a young Pandora Bell perched aboard a steam train; and came to fruition in 2008, with the creation of Pandora Bell, at the outskirts of the Georgian city of Limerick, where the best confectionery of Europe is fashioned.
The circle may have been closed, but in the adventurous ethos in which the company was set, we continue to tie knots by endlessly searching for more sweet inspiration. We closely work with the best artisans in Europe, who still produce their confectionery as if not a single day had passed between that first steam train journey taken by Pandora Bell and today.
The Great Taste Awards, SIAL China, Blas na hÉireann, Image Business Woman of the Year and The Bridgestone Guide.
Associations with Fortnum & Mason, Dolce & Gabbana and Vivienne Westwood.
Pandora Bell Ireland was founded in 2009 in the Historic City of Limerick. The reaction was astounding and fledgling Pandora quickly found her feet within the culinary circles of Ireland.
Then came the Bridgestone Guide, Newcomer of the Year Award. They said: “You want to see and taste perfection? Here it is, again. Nicole Dunphy’s salted caramels and nougats and lollipops are of a standard no one in Ireland has ever achieved…’
Pandora Bell’s Real Eggshells with Praline appeared in British Vogue, followed by ‘Some Candy Talking’ about the lollipops & sweets, again in British Vogue. Then the brand became part of an exhibition of the World’s Best Packaging Exhibition at the Taste Festival Berlin and featured in the ‘Crafter’s Guide to Packaging Handmade Products’ an American book by Viola E. Sutanto. Dolce & Gabbana used Pandora’s Candy Canes to decorate their Boutiques and the lucky models at the Dolce & Gabbana Junior Party are pictured enjoying Pandora Bell lollipops in an exclusive photo shoot for Italian Grazia.
Vivienne Westwood then chose a Pandora Bell Lollipop to launch her fragrance ‘Sunny Alice’. British Vogue tweet Vivienne’s pictures of Pandora’s Lemon Lollipop.
Most recently Pandora Bell collaborated with Trinity College Dublin on a range of Sweets for the Long Room Gift Shop and founder Nicole Dunphy became a Cover Girl on the Aer Lingus magazine Cara.
Nicole Dunphy: Founder
Nicole graduated in English and History of Art in Trinity College. She worked in media before deciding to pack her pensionable job in favour of following her childhood dream of becoming a confectionary queen. Nicole’s passion for antiques permeates into the traditional artisan production at Pandora Bell.
Jean Ní Bhaoill: Sales and Marketing
Jean has a background in media including TV, film and radio. She joined Pandora Bell as Sales and Marketing Manager in 2013. She speaks fluent French and Irish.
Katriona Murphy: Production
Katriona manages the production and quality control at Pandora Bell. Katriona works tirelessly to discover and develop new products and flavours to expand our confectionery range
Iziar Sarasola: Sales & Customer care
With a background in literature, philosophy and psychology and the gregarious personality that goes with over a decade of teaching experience; Iziar is the face of customer care and friendliness personalised.