Meet The Roasters. Brock, @badgeranddodo

Brock kicked off in 2008 and I have been a consumer of his beans for a couple of years (or longer). I do stray from time to time but keep coming back to his fair-trade and organic bean: Sumatra Aceh – Gegarang village.

He started at the front end of the trade (as a Barista and now a judge for the Irish competitions) and moved to roasting. Like our other two roasters at Meet The Roasters he’s proud of the end product and equally proud of the roasting that is part of the process that leads to an outstanding cup of coffee.

Here he is on his roasting machine…. “DOCTOR O”

Our customised cast iron, 30Kg roaster. Roasting entirely via a soft fluid bed of hot air, gives a smoother richer flavour. We coupled this a state of the art modulating profile system which allows us to develop ideal ‘roasting recipes’ (ie profiles) for every bean type. This profile system ensures precise repeat-ability – right down to the degree and second. In an industry where ‘consistency is king’ this is a vital piece of technology.

More information on the Saturday 20th Sept event and bookings here.



Full versions of the presentations given during Outstanding By Design

There are no excuses for being this late getting these up onto Slideshare, apologies.

Every presentation given during the day (with the exception of the one done by Brand Union on their work with Paddy O’Granola which they asked me not to share) is now up and included below. Links to the videos of the presentations where they have been put up by Ken McGuire are also included.

Sarah Maguire, Brand Union & Paddy O’Connell, Paddy O’Granola

 Laura Macaulay, Navigate By Design & Ka Tutandike

Erik Johansson, The Green Man Studio & Paul O Connor, Trouble Brewing

Liz Maybury & Mella McAuley, Mella Fudge

Steve Simpson & Mic Wejchert, Mic’s Chilli

Rachel Kerr, Creative Inc & Liz Skehan, Skoff

Lorenzo Tonti & Fingal Ferguson, Gubeen

Giles Calver, Thoughts On Food Packaging

Hope you enjoy those, as further videos are put up by Ken I will include them here. My thanks again to each of the designers and producers who came along and shared their learnings.


Snippets – US online speciality food and an Irish Organic sector challenge

These have been kicking around my inbox for a month or so now.

They don’t aggregate products and pass fulfilment back to producers. And they have a lovely definition of their core focus:
“Included in the “indie food” category are artisan, small batch, handmade, organic, gluten-free and other packaged specialty foods that are “made by people not corporations, and typically involve a recipe,”

Screenshot 2014-01-05 12.32.38

I am liking that a lot. Funding in place, great design and strong core. Picked up via a piece in the Wall Street Journal.

Hope they succeed 🙂

An Open Letter to the Organic Movement in Ireland

Ollie Moore is someone I like a lot. A journalist and musician he juggles a lot of pies. And hats. At his core is organics and the importance of a healthy sector in Ireland. His post is about stagnancy and what can be done to overcome that.

Much more debate needed around this tbh.



Coffee Angel, Coffee Roasters. Ireland


While Badger and Dodo (link to previous post) braved the outdoors for Savour Kilkenny Karl Purdy from Coffee Angel was working indoors for Foodcamp. He combines the art of good bean sourcing with the science of brewing and both genders were fascinated to hear him share his knowledge and passion on the day. In the third photo you can see him demo’ing his set up to Donal Doherty from Harry’s Bar with Sally McKenna in the foreground.

He brought this new bean grind to Foodcamp and planned on using the feedback he received to write the tasting notes – a new form of crowd sourcing :-). I enjoyed it but did not verbalise that as well as some.

You can buy his coffee online at his site btw.


Highbank Orchard Syrup, Apple Syrup. Ireland


From an organic orchard (Highbank) which was first planted in the 17th century comes this Apple Syrup. Ideal for drizzling on cheeses (for example) it was another artisan food product which saw the light of day at Foodcamp and then on into the Savour Kilkenny weekend.

And in the second photo Julie and Rod Calder-potts show the product to the interested crowd.


Organic Herb Company, Oils and Herbs. Ireland

The Organic Herb Company business is going over 11 years and supply to a range of retailers in England and Ireland. It is not cheap – but extremely tasty as I learned when I worked my way through 5 of the samples in front of me (chickening out when it got to the Chilli’er concoctions).

One of these may well be a Christmas treat. The second photo shows Paul and Michael the co-founders of the business – again at Savour Kilkenny. As a BTW their site does not do the brand justice – be warned!


Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese, Cheeses. Ireland

One of many successful businesses which have grown from the need for farmers to diversify into high quality branded food products Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese continues to develop and expand its product range after enarly 6 years in business.

With cheeses made from both cows and goats milk and a farmhouse shop in Stoneyford under their belts they are very well regarded by cheese lovers all around Ireland.

The photos show their range of cheeses as well as one of Helen Finnegan (co-founder) at Savour Kilkenny.


Secret Recipe Company, Pickle. Ireland

Tom Watts launched his new business with a Cucumber Pickle at the Savour Kilkenny Foodcamp. And it went down a treat. I only had a small nibble (not too pickley myself) but know from others with more educated palettes that it was very well received.

Check out his site (and the fascinating back story to the idea and his plans for the future).


Badger & Dodo, Coffee Roasters. Ireland

There are not too many good coffee roasters in Ireland and I have enjoyed coming across Badger and Dodo and the guy who started it (Brock Lewin) a couple of times in the last 3 months. Most recently at Savour Kilkenny where I queued in line for a Soya Latter – really, really good with beans roasted 2 days beforehand.

And a bag of their filter ground has been giving me my kicks every morning since :-). Check out their online store at their site.



Natasha’s Living Food, Ireland

I have seen Natasha’s stall a couple of times at the Saturday morning Food Market in Meeting House Square, Dublin a couple of times. Her products have started to appear in health food shops around Ireland which is great as it gave me a chance to try her Kale Crunchies.

They are a tasty snack and make the idea of raw food more palatable. Looking forward to some of her chocolate now 🙂

Check out her website. Good to be able to post this after a mention recently of the New York Natural Kale Chips.