"Life is Like a Box of Chocolates… you never know what you're going to get.*
A Talk by Mary Ann O'Brien
Mary Ann O'Brien is one of the most widely recognised and successful female entrepreneurs to emerge in Ireland in the past twenty years.
Having started Lily O'Brien's chocolates in her small Kildare kitchen in 1992, she has grown the business into one of the country's most recognised global brands. The company, named after her first-born daughter, is Ireland's premier chocolate manufacturer and a leading exporter. Located in Newbridge, County Kildare, the company employs more than 100 full-time staff and produces 180 varieties of chocolates at a rate of between 55 and 60 tons per week (a long leap from the 2 tonnes produced in 1992!). Last year, Mary Ann built a dessert factory which is already winning global awards for taste and global contracts for airlines.