Susan’s Sweet Sensations was started (originally as Susan’s Sweet Factory) by Susan Persky and Sarah Gray, from an idea before they moved to West Cork in Ireland from London, in early 2016.
Susan has been making sweets for over 30 years for friends and family, including her signature marzipan fruits and rum truffles. Moving to a location like Bantry in West Cork, which is well known for its good food throughout the region, provided the perfect opportunity to take a hobby and turn it into a business creating confectionery and treats using, where possible, the abundance of ingredients that the region has to offer. Using Susan’s experience, we have set out to make treats that everyone can enjoy.
The old saying about a kid in a sweet shop literally applies to me, as I grew up living over one that was run by my family.
I’ve been making my own sweets and treats for over 30 years. It started one Christmas when I made rum truffles for my family and work colleagues as Christmas presents. Suddenly people wanted more and were offering to pay me to make them. Since then, my marzipan fruits and chocolates have become a standard in my family and with friends at Christmas time.
Like most people the idea of turning a hobby into an actual business crossed my mind although life always seem to get in the way. This is where Sarah helped me make it happen after our move to Ireland. Her background is in business and IT and her family have started and have been running businesses for over 40 years.
My idea was to create a twist on classic sweets and treats, done my way. For example, our gingerbread was inspired by Sarah and her brother who grew up eating gingerbread from a local baker that tasted a certain way. I rose to the challenge to recreate it for them and now everyone can enjoy it.
I take pride in our products and I want to offer quality and simplicity, with no additives, using ingredients locally sourced, where possible. My hands on approach means that I will only allow our creations to be sold if I would be prepared to buy them myself and feel they are value for money.
Even after doing this for so many years, it still gives me a buzz that I can take a few ingredients and make treats that so many people enjoy eating. My aim is for our name and logo to be instantly recognisable and associated with great tasting treats from West Cork.
About our treats
The mere suggestion of sweets conjours up all sorts of fond memories of being a child and getting your weekly pocket money, going into the sweet shop and spending ages working out how to make the little money you have go the furthest.
Well now we are grown up we don’t have to wait for someone to give us our pocket money. Neither do we need to eek out what we have although we all, of course, want value for money.
As we have changed, so have our tastes. The Sweet Factory gives you the chance to experience childhood flavours and in a more sophisticated way. Who doesn’t like good, old-fashioned chocolate? But now we want style and elegance.
Susan’s personal favourite is marzipan (her own of course). With a whole range of options and colours, taking a more interesting appearance than just a slab (for example, her fruit and vegetables), we can have our sweets and eat them!