Lily O'Brien's Breast Feeding Policy


Statement from Mary Ann O’Brien

Founder and MD of Lily O’Brien’s Chocolates Ireland

20th August 2010


When I started the business in Ireland in 1992, I was a young mother with a very lively toddler, Lily, after whom I decided to name the business.  Since then, the mothers of Ireland, and further afield, have helped build our small kitchen business into a global brand.  However, despite our expansion and success, the business has remained a family business with family values at its core.  For this reason, I was very troubled to hear of the events of August 2009 in our New York Café and the subsequent controversy it has caused.  While I cannot remark on what actually occurred on that day, I have been assured by my staff in New York that mothers have been and will continue to be welcome to breastfeed on the premises.

Our organization is more aware of women’s issues than most – it’s not only run by a woman and employs a predominantly female workforce, but it is also hugely dependent on female consumers across the globe choosing our chocolates above those of our competitors.  Breastfeeding and women’s issues in general are afforded the highest level of importance throughout our organization – quite simply because they touch each and every one of our lives on a daily basis.  I would like to state categorically that breastfeeding mothers will always receive a warm welcome within our New York Café.  I would never condone insensitive treatment of breastfeeding mothers and I would expect our staff to uphold the same values.

We look forward to having this matter resolved as soon as possible and moving forward with our business with the support of our loyal chocolate fans.

 Mary Ann