Food Academy graduates hit the shelves in supermarkets
Eight graduates of the Food Academy from Co Wicklow have seen their products hit the shelves of Supervalu stores around the county.
Since Monday, the locally-produced food and drink items have been on sale at Supervalu in Baltinglass, Blessington, Greystones, Wicklow, Charlesland, Arklow and Bray.
All eight businesses have participated in a number of workshops and mentoring sessions since September as part of the Food Academy progamme, which is a collaboration between the Local Enterprise Office network, Bord Bia and Supervalu. The Food Academy helps and nurtures small businesses as they transition from start-up company to SuperValu supplier.
The eight local products now on sale in the dedicated Food Academy section in Supervalu are:
Coolattin Cheddar by Tom Burgess
A desire to showcase the top quality milk he had been producing in west Wicklow for 20 years led Tom Burgess to create Coolattin Cheddar - an award-winning raw milk cheese made exclusively from summer milk. Tom's fertile soil and lush, clover-rich pasture provides the ideal diet for cheesemaking milk. The traditional 'pasture to cheddar the same day' cheesemaking process allows Tom to capture the maximum amount of nutrients and unique taste profiles. The alchemy of cheesemaking relies on working with microorganisms and enzymes to convert the milk into cheese and Tom maintains that these are 'the real rock stars of cheesemaking'. The cheese is slowly matured in carefully controlled conditions, creating 'an award-winning gourmet experience of flavour, texture and aroma which develops slowly from sweet fruit, to a full nutty note.'
For more on Coolattin Chedar, visit coolattincheddar.ie, CoolattinCheddar on Facebook or @CoolattinC on Twitter.
Melody Street Foods by Matt Byrne
Matt Byrne and his girlfriend, Finn, left Ireland in 2010 to eat their way around Asia and ended up in Australia. Melody Street Foods began in a tiny kitchen by the beach on Melody Street in Sydney, Australia, where Matt spent his spare time cooking up a storm. The result was a unique spicy, natural and versatile slow-cooked tomato-based sauce, bursting with natural ingredients such as turmeric, fresh ginger, fresh chilli and cumin. Now married, Matt, Finn and their two boys moved back to Ireland in 2016, settling in Wicklow town. With the help of the SuperValu Food Academy, Matt learned how to bottle his love for food and flavour and bring it to the supermarket shelf. He now creates handmade, slow-cooked batches of Melody Sauce and the flavoured mayonnaise, Melody Mayo, in a kitchen on Penny Lane in Kilcoole. Where possible, Melody Street Foods sources ingredients from local Irish suppliers, including local fruit and vegetable shops. A versatile range, it pairs well with a variety of foods and can be enjoyed at every meal.
To learn more about Melody Street Foods, visit www.melodystreetfoods.com, @melodystfoods on Twitter or www.instagram.com/melodystreetfoods/
MONT Pilsner Lager by Michael Cowan
Based at Manor Kilbride, on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, Mont is Ireland's highest and only specialist lager brewery. Founded by ex-Red Bull marketing director Michael Cowan, Mont released 'The Irish Pilsner' in 2015 after it won gold at the Alltech Dublin Craft Beer Cup. In just over two years on the market, Mont has won a hatful of international and domestic awards, including 'Country Winner' for its Pilsner Lager and 'Brand Design' at the 2017 World Beer Awards. In February 2018, it was named one of Ireland's Top 100 Hot Start-ups, by Enterprise Ireland and The Sunday Business Post. Mont has positioned itself as Ireland's super-premium lager, taking on the bigger lager brands such as Peroni and Tiger. It is stocked in many of Ireland's leading hotel and restaurants, including Ballymaloe House and the Dylan Hotel, and is now being exported to Europe and Asia.
For further information, check out www.montbeer.com, MontBeer on Facebook, @MontBeerIE on Twitter or www.instagram.com/montbeer.ie/
Craft Beer from Wicklow Brewery by Leigh and Ashley Williams
An inability to find a suitable supplier to provide a range of craft beers for Mickey Finn's Pub in Redcross led the bar's owners, Leigh and Ashley Williams, to set up Wicklow Brewery in 2014. Four years on, the brewery is producing a range of genuine craft beers, which are brewed and canned at its base beside Mickey Finn's and which have won major international awards. The Wicklow Brewery range is now on tap in over 50 venues in Co Wicklow, including most hotels. They are also bottling their product and sending it out nationwide. They use their own well water and zero chemicals to create their range, which is brewed in small batches to enhance taste and character.
Further information on the Wicklow Brewery can be found at www.wicklowbrewery.ie, at Wicklow Brewery on Facebook, @WicklowBrewery on Twitter or www.instagram.com/thewicklowbrewery.
NutriQuick Healthy Meals by Dean Siney
NutriQuick produces tasty, portion-controlled, healthly and nutritionally balanced ready meals in Blessington. The company was established in 2016 by Dean Siney. He and his team share a passion for good, healthy food and their goal is to improve health and wellbeing by producing balanced meals that are also convenient. Through 2017 and 2018, the meals have grown in popularity amongst top athletes and busy professionals and the company has expanded its distribution from an online shop to retail outlets. Each NutriQuick meal is cooked, portioned and packed for the customer's convenience, saving valuable time, money and effort. 'At NutriQuick, we know the time, hassle and cost of trying to prepare healthy meals daily/weekly and also the consequences if you don't. That's why providing a quick and nutritious meal to all our customers is our goal,' Dean said.
For additional information about Nutriquick, visit www.nutriquick.ie, Nutriquick on Facebook, or @nutriquick on either Twitter or Instagram.
Rohan's Sauces by Rohan O'Duill
Live a balanced life, no mumbo jumbo diets, look after your body and eat good food - that is the philosophy of Rohan O'Duill, the Irish chef behind Rohan's Sauces. These pasta sauces are packed full of healthy and hearty vegetables with a minimum amount of salt and no added sugar or other artificial ingredients. Produced in small batches in Bray, the sauces are an ideal way of ensuring that children (and adults!) get their daily vegetable intake, with each jar of Rohans sauces containing 4.5 portions of vegetables.
You can find out more about Rohans Sauces at www.rohanssauces.ie or on instagram @Rohanssauces
Sukhi's India - Indian spice mixes By Sukhvindar Kaur
After many years cooking her favourite Indian dishes for family and friends, Sukhvindar Kaur was encouraged to make her homemade Pakora and Masala spice mixes available to help others create tasty and authentic Indian dishes at home. And so Sukhi's India came to be in June 2017. Sukhi hopes to share with the public recipes that are popular in India and which are firm favourites of Sukhi's family. It is Sukhi's assertion that cooking Indian food shouldn't be complicated. Her recipes have been passed down through generations of her family, who come from the Punjab region of India, and stem from a time when the focus was on making good, honest, wholesome food using simple techniques and ingredients. 'My Indian food is simple, quick and tastes great, I hope that by using my mixes you too can enjoy creating delicious Indian food as much as I have,' she said.
You can link up with Sukhi at Sukhi's indiea on Facebook or @sukhismasala on Instagram.
Le Paysan Artisan Pâté by Thierry Peurois
Thierry Peurois grew up in Northern France, where his parents ran a traditional boucherie-charcuterie business selling raw and prepared meat products. Shortly after arriving in Ireland in 1996, Thierry set up Le Paysan in Greystones and ran the successful deli/restaurant for over a decade before branching out into a range of prepared products. Thierry's food philosophy is simple but rooted in a strong family tradition of delivering quality, freshly-made produce using local ingredients. Operating from a customised production facility in Wicklow town, Thierry is producing an free range chicken liver pâté and a delectable vegetarian pâté using the best of Irish ingredients. 'Our new pâtés have been extremely well received by the consumers,' said Thierry. 'It is also a pleasure to reconnect with so many who have enjoyed Le Paysan products over the years.'
You can follow the Le Paysan story on Facebook @lepaysan and on Twitter at LePaysan@LePaysanWicklow
Any food or drink producers who would like to learn more about the the Food Academy can contact Annette Rowsome at LEO Wicklow on firstname.lastname@example.org.