Meet Conor Coughlan - UCC Masters Graduate and Founder of Black Twist

29 May 2017
Spotlight on Conor Coughlan

Conor graduated from UCC in 2007 with a BSc in Chemistry and then completed a MSc in Food Science, also in UCC. He founded Black Twist as an exciting new brand that will alter the way in which consumers perceive the relationship between coffee and Irish whiskey.

Single origin coffee is carefully roasted, ground and slowly cold brewed in triple distilled Irish whiskey to create a new interpretation of a classic combination. Following his Masters at UCC, Conor felt confident enough to risk it all by giving up a management position in Kerry Group to purse his entrepreneurial dream.

“My degree was in Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds, but as time went by, I knew the food industry was where I wanted to be. I decided to do a taught Masters in Food Science because the modules were wide-ranging and gave a great insight into the different elements of the industry. This experience really helped me understand the area I wanted to work in and the career path I wanted to pursue. I applied for a new product development role with Kerry Group and because of my Masters in Food Science, I was offered a place on their graduate programme upon leaving UCC.

Leaving UCC with a Masters in Food Science helped me quickly secure a position with Kerry Group, an Irish company that is a global leader in the food industry and works closely with some of the world’s biggest brands. My time there really developed me as a person and exposed me to ways of working which ultimately gave me the confidence to set up my own company. I am now pursuing a dream I am passionate about, and the first step on this journey was obtaining the Masters in UCC.”


College of Science, Engineering and Food Science

Coláiste na hEolaíochta, na hInnealtóireachta agus na hEolaíochta Bia

Block E, Level 3, Food Science Building, UCC, Cork