Malcolm Ryan, Rhuby Delights – Latrobe
Malcolm Ryan, a fifth-generation Tasmanian, learned organic farming principles and an obsession with quality from his mom.
He also learned a lot about rhubarb, an underappreciated gem of a fruit. Others did not understand Malcolm’s passion for it. But he had two choices: give up and devote himself to something easy or take the harder, more Tasmanian route. He wouldn’t just make rhubarb acceptable. He would make it a delicacy.
Rhuby Delights was born.
There is something Malcolm does when he meets someone he does not know. He asks for their opinion of rhubarb, endures the answer, and then presents a plate of chocolates. Who doesn’t love chocolate? The person tastes it and they experience a pop of sweet, sour, and premium dark chocolate: among the finest tastes possible.
Today, his freeze-dried fruit en-robed in dark chocolate has expanded to include Tasmanian raspberries, blackberries, apricots, pepper berries and more. So what is he doing the pandemic, now that he can’t share it with us in person?
“I am very lucky this did not happen 12 months ago,” says Malcolm, known as the Eccentric Chocolatier. “I have a great staff supporting me and my business, and support from both the Tasmanian and federal governments.”
Most of his sales had come from tourism. But he has seen an increase in online sales. He is using this time to improve his digital game.
“I have engaged a social media consultant to focus on connecting my website, Facebook, Instagram, and my customers,” he says. “I have not had to worry about this in the past as my products had been flying off the shelves without social media. I have some exciting opportunities in the pipeline so I will just see this as an opportunity to sharpen my tools, so to speak.
“I am not going to let a virus stop me. I have plans to take my business to a million dollar enterprise and employ another 5 staff over the next 3 years. It is the best thing in the world to be doing business with a brand that is Tasmanian. The world is craving for all things Tasmanian.”