Irish Food Co-op Launches
The idyllic setting of Butler House in Kilkenny was the backdrop for the launch of the Irish Food Co-op on Friday last.
With a physical presence in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, the newly established Irish Food Co-op brings together seven producers from the south east region under a mantra of “one invoice, one contact, one delivery”.
Running as a not-for-profit cooperative, the seven producers have joined forces to maximise their sales and distribution. Some are already available in the multiples, some have a bare handful of retail listings but the combining of forces, coupled with co-op management, a van on the road and a dedicated sales rep for the whole group, the signs are good for the producers involved.
Each of the producers has made a small personal investment into the group with seven on board for the start. Skip below the photos for their details.
Irish Food Co-op Producers
Mileeven Fine Foods – @mileevenfoods
From Kilkenny, we’ve got Mileeven Foods, lead by Sarah Gough who is also the chair of the co-op. Established in 1988 by Eilis Gough from a hobby of beekeeping, Pure Irish Honey was their first product and still remains an integral part of our product offering today. Now run by Eilis and her daughter Sarah (pictured above chatting to Edward Hayden), Mileeven Fine Foods continue to offer exciting new, high quality products to their customers. Their range includes Organic Honey, Single source honeys like Manuka 10+ and Manuka 15+, Organic Preserves, Fruit Cakes, Christmas puddings, brandy butter,cranberry & port sauce and authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The Little Mill Company
The Little Mill Company is run by Rob Mosse and his father Bill. They’ve been making stoneground wholemeal for bakeries in Ireland for years. You’ll find them on the River Nore in Bennettsbridge. Retail-wise, Rob and Bill provide a brownie mix, brown bread mix, scone mix and sponge cake mix and also sell stoneground wholemeal an 12.5kg bags of Irish soda bread mix.
Tastefully Yours – @artisanchutney
The pairing of Norbert Thul and Audrea Hasset, based out of the Dunhill Eco Park in Waterford, make one of my favourite Irish producers. They produce a wide rangeo of pickled chutneys and sauces and recently introduced a selection of Thai curry sauces to their range. With a strong catering supply end to the business, you’ll find their chutneys (including what’s got to be one of the best in the country in their Apple & Chilli Chutney) in a small number of retailers, something that should change very soon with their involvement in the co-op.
Knockanore Cheese – @KnockanoreC
Eamonn Lonergan and co. at Knockanore Irish Farmhouse Cheese have been producing cheese in county Waterford for over two decades. Every drop of milk used comes from the family’s pedigree her of Friesian cattle to produced a full cream cows milk cheese. Some of the cheeses are smoked using locally sourced oak with the range also including plain red and white, garlic and herb, garlic and chives and black pepper with chives.
Killowen Farm – @killowenfarm
Killowen Farm produce handmade live yogurt and recently launched two new limited edition yogurts featuring locally-sourced fruit including Malone’s loganberry and Wexford rhubarb and strawberry. The were also recently awarded the Wexford Small Business of the Year title for 2014, with five out of the nine members of the Dunne family involved in the running of Killowen Farm. Their range is split between classic yogurts, premium Greek-style yogurt and larger catering ranges that go from one litre to ten litre tubs.
Carrigbyrne Farmhouse – @CarrigbyrneFarm
Patrick Berridge and his wife Juliet have been producing Carrigbyrne Farmhouse Cheese for close on thirty years from their family-run farm on the outskirts of Adamstown near Enniscorthy. Their newest cheese, the Humming Bark, picked up the Reserve Champiion and Gold Medal awards at Bloom’s Irish Cheese Awards earlier this year along with the Reserve Champion award at the British Cheese Awards in 2014 while also picking up a silver medal at the World Cheese Awards in 2013.
One point raised by Patrick at the launch was that in getting to produce the cheese and deliver the cheese, it can be quite hard to market the cheese as well when you’re running a small operation. Hopefully, that it is something that can be tackled by the co-op.
O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon – @ONeillsBacon
Based in Ferns, the O’Neills tradition is to dry cure bacon by hand for three weeks using a traditional family recipe with natural sea salt. Their bacon range offers 30% less salt than average and doesn’t contain added water or require phosphates. They’re best known for their Dry Cured Rashers with a 97% pork count, alongside their dry cured streaky rashers, ham fillets and bacon loins.
For full details, keep an eye on IrishFoodCoop.com.