Appetisers – 2nd Sept 2012

NYT’s article and comments on investing into organic farms and farmers

The growth in various food niches

Carbon Neutral Chocolate sails into the UK

/ Keith

Companies on my To Blog About list

Going to keep a note of interesting and relevant companies/organisations/posts I come across here and pull from it for future posts. Suggestions very welcome in the comments.

Date Added & website

29/9/12 –

29/9/12 –

29/9/12 –

17/9/12 –

9/9/12 –

2/9/12 –

2/9/12 –

1/9/12 –

31/8/12 – (post here)

31/8/12 –

31/8/12 – (post here)

31/8/12 –

31/8/12 –

31/8/12 –

/ Keith

Ethical Food Businesses – some information sources I will be keeping an eye on

I already subscribe to a couple of these blogs and follow their founders on twitter and I will be adding to the list as I find more.

Worth saying here that a food startup in itself is of no interest to me personally – it must have a ethical core to it. The perpetuation of cheap food for the mainstream is irrelevant here as are reviews of normal restaurant chains and mass produced dishes. So while these sources cover a lot of great businesses not many of those will be mentioned in posts here. Just so we are clear 😉

2/9/12 –

31/8/12 –

31/8/12 –

Food and Technology Connect – Danielle Gould

Forbes Food Startups

Quora Food Tech Startups

Edible Startups – Michelle Paratore

Guardian UK Organics Coverage

Meetup Food Startups Group

If you have ones to add to the above please let me know in the comments

Artisan brands featured in the Sunday Business Post on 15th May

Been a while since I did a post like this but inspired by a feature in the Sunday Business Post on 5 previous winners of the amazing Blas Na hEireann Irish Food Awards which are held every year in Dingle since 2008. (no link to the article as not put up until tomorrow, Monday 16th)

Aruna Fresh Sauces – website

This brand emerged from the kitchen of a restaurant in Ardee, Co Louth and they won an award from their local Enterprise Board as well as at Blas na hEireann. They also received mentoring from a food technologist and start-up expert.

Their facebook page is here.

Flynn’s Kitchen – website

2007 was the starting year for this range which interestingly shares a production unit with another business Gan Gluten. You can buy the range of pates, jams and ready meals online from Local Ireland.

Dungarvan Brewing Company – website

Not the first time Cormac and Tom have cropped up here. A tale of unemployment turned into a viable micro-business, or in this case micro-brewery.

These are a regular for me from the Wine Centre in Kilkenny.

Paddy O’Granola – website

Paddy takes the coveted Page3 slot in the Business Post with a Q&A which includes the information that his production is outsourced to a manufacturer in Drogheda.


Artisan and local food packaging examples No.4

Another visit to the world of interesting and innovative packaging for artisan and local food brands.

“by Hoogesteger” by Design Bridge

Not entirely clear if this is a local brand or a much larger one – however this packaging is really effective. Such a simple use of strong and large scale cutouts together with minimal text.

via TheDieline


Cannot find the designers of this one – have asked them for the name. No debate here on their artisan status. “Velo” is French for “bicycle”, and that’s our principal method for delivering hand-roasted beans. We believe all businesses should operate with low-impact techniques, from start to finish.

You can only get away with this kind of packaging if you mean it. However this brand wears its core message upfront with no confusion.

via TheDieLine

The Food Doctor by Pearlfisher

The marketing machine that is Ian Marber recently changed its food product packaging to the above. The design agency give a good background to the approach in the post this is from, incorporating the strong shape, colours and text content.

The discussion in the comments that follow adds to the post nicely – debating the focus on a single apple shape and also wondering if the health benefits are conveyed sufficiently by this re-brand.

via LovelyPackage

Another one in this series coming up later in the week – check out the Packaging category to the right for more of these.


Artisan and Local Food Brands – Irish Media Watch No.2

Irish Times – Saturday 22nd January – Article here

In an article entitled Tipple that won’t make you tipsy Tipperary brand The Apple Farm are mentioned. The journalist John Wilson says “It is cloudy, lightly sparkling with lovely, pure apple fruit flavour.”

Irish Times – Thursday 20th January – Article here

This is a great piece about Cork based Taste A Memory

On the back of the IBEC survey which showed that Irish food companies are more positive about their prospects than Irish business overall the piece shows how a focus on design and packaging by this brand had a positive impact on their listings and sales.

Ann Bradfield, the chef behind Taste A Memory, also recommends a spend on in-store tastings to boost awareness and sales.

and in other somewhat relevant news

“59% of Americans want better online access to Irish Food”

A commercial opportunity awaits – see Slide 31 in this post here from Amarach.

“Street food vendors are expected to populate sidewalks every two to three blocks downtown by the summer of 2014”

This decision in Vancouver will open up opportunities for local food suppliers with staff in the council screening applicants for, amongst other things, the use of local, organic and fair trade foods. Full article here.

“Green & Black’s ‘to seek split from Kraft'”
This brand does not belong in the arms of a global conglomerate. Would be good to see it independent again. Examiner article here


Leader Partnership Co’s to cease funding on-farm food businesses?

Have just come across this in the Independent on Tuesday last (18th January). I am covering it here because Leader Partnership’s around the country are the single most effective source of State financial assistance for capital intensive on-farm food enterprises.

From the Indo:

“The shock announcement by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs last week means that no further assessments or approvals are allowed for on-farm food projects for the foreseeable future……..

The communication from the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs states that the clampdown on grants applies only to “projects involving a farmer/member of a farm family which in any way involves food preparation, production or processing”.

The communication stated that this included projects relating to meat, vegetables, cheese, ice-cream and crisps.”

This is just stupid and I have to assume that the Department will be able to take actions to reverse it.


Slight diversion – a guide to How to Find Real Food at the Supermarket

This is not an artisan food brand. But it is funny, and more or less on topic. In any space where passions run high (and they do in the artisan/local/real food debate) you have to pull back and have a laugh every so often 🙂

This is via a Huffington Post article by Darya Pino (her twitter account here) – thanks for sharing it Darya 🙂


Artisan and Local Food Brands – Irish Media Watch No.1

Sunday Business Post 9th Jan – Chocolate Garden

A piece on the Carlow based Chocolate and Ice Cream brand which used the pop-up (ie temporary) shop concept successfully in two different locations before Christmas.

The above photo is one I took of their Kilkenny location for foodspotting, the second location was in Clearys in Dublin.

UPDATE: Sunday Business Post 9th Jan – Aine Hand Made Chocolate

Missed this one earlier – nestled into the Bizesize page of the Magazine was a piece on Anne Rudden’s Cavan based chocolate brand.

A timely reminder – because I enjoyed a surprisingly tasty Seville Orange bar from this range over Christmas. Surprising because I had managed to associate the brand with a sugar free range which I saw from them early on and had since then never bothered to try one. The Seville Orange is from the new range they launched Sept last year and you should absolutely try them for yourself.

Some of her chocolates are available online from her website –

Irish Times Saturday 8th Jan – Petite Treats

A shout out in the Whats Hot listing for makers of vegan cupcakes –

They deliver their cupcakes – and a range of Muffins, Brownies and Wedding Cakes too. Beyond the limited vegan market in Ireland these will also appeal to anyone caring about “Dairy/lactose-free, Egg-free, Cholesterol-free, very low in saturated fat, sweetened with unrefined sugar and  maple syrup and made with non-hydrogenated oils”

Twitter and Facebook links for them.

Irish Times Saturday 8th Jan – Gold EV Olive Oil

A product produced in such a small scale that I cannot find a photo of it. Or a website for it or the health food store which makes it! The owners of Greystones based Natures Gold hand harvest olives in Catalonia and sell the resulting oil in their shop. Has to be gorgeous.

I will work on extending this in future – I need to monitor the websites of the Irish newspspers and also bring in the Irish blogs.


6 chocolatiers featured in the FT paper today

A tantalising selection of chocolate makers here: