OVER the past 18 months the family-run O'Brien Fine Foods has experienced a "significant upturn" in business.
The company, best-known for it's Brady's Family Ham and Rudds brands, is in the middle of hiring 50 extra staff to drive new foodstuffs and expand the plant's capacity to deliver new products.
Managing director John O'Brien said the firm has grown consistently since his parents Bill and Patricia bought it in 2000, with a staff of just 18.
Now, the firm – a premium producer of cooked hams, sausages, rashers and puddings for retailers – employs 280 people, and is in the middle of a €3m development programme at its base in Timahoe, Co Kildare.
Mr O'Brien said the company plans to grow staff numbers to more than 300 in the next year or two, as it targets the UK market.
"We have seen a significant upturn in business," he said, adding that advertisements highlighting that the product was 100pc Irish had helped drive sales.
From his visits with retailers, Mr O'Brien says there is a "positive outlook" at the moment.
The businessman also said the "green" image of Ireland abroad has helped drive the success of food businesses.