Blas na hEireann Producers’ Champion Award – looking for nominations

Hello everyone,

I know I’ve been a bit quiet of late, but there is some exciting news coming and I’m waiting until its official before I tell you! I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

In the meantime, the call is out for nominations for the @BlasNahEireann #ProducersChampionAward – it should be someone who is working hard to promote & support Irish Food. For example, someone who set up a Directory of producers who are selling online….perhaps!

I know I’m being cheeky, but I would really appreciate your nomination.

Please take 2 mins to make your suggestion. Here is the link: Nominate now!

Thank you!

Best wishes,

Oonagh Monahan

 

Long list of food & drinks producers online and growing!

Good morning!

As you know, most of the shops are shut because of the COVID-19 restrictions. We cannot physically go into our local retailers and many of us are shopping more on line now than we ever did. The problem is that when you search for something, more often than not, the first page of results brings up retailers with plenty of money to spend on marketing, and frequently these are overseas. Not so for our smaller food & drinks producers.

As Christmas approaches, and Black Friday looms, online shopping will become even busier and I’m asking you, please, to buy from Irish producers and suppliers first. Make a little effort to find your food, drink and gifts locally, and by local I mean on the island of Ireland. It might be a little more expensive, but in the long run, unless we support Irish producers and suppliers now, saving jobs and supporting the local economy, we will pay dearly for it later.

The list that I started back in April with 40 producers has now grown and this morning its at 213!! Every day I’m being contacted by producers asking to be included and I’m only delighted to do so.

Here is the current list (as of this morning, November 3rd) in order from the county with the most (Cork) to that with the fewest (Kildare):

Cork26
Galway17
Dublin15
Meath15
Mayo11
Sligo10
Tipperary9
Louth8
Donegal7
Wicklow7
Clare6
Kerry6
Kilkenny6
Leitrim6
Longford6
Tyrone5
Antrim4
Armagh4
Cavan4
Laois4
Offaly4
Roscommon4
Waterford4
Carlow3
Derry3
Down3
Fermanagh3
Limerick3
Monaghan3
Westmeath3
Wexford3
Kildare1
TOTAL213

I’m absolutely sure that there are many more producers out there that meet the criteria for inclusion in this directory, so please, spread the word, tell them to get in touch, remind them that its a free service, and encourage your family & friends to buy Irish!

Reminder – this list of for Irish food & drinks producers only who have both an e-commerce site and who are delivering.

Where can you rent kitchen / food production space?

One question I’m frequently asked is where a food producer, who had outgrown their home kitchen or whose home kitchen isn’t suitable, or who wants to expand, can rent kitchen / production space. I put together a list last year which is still fairly up to date, but I’m wondering if there are any cafes or restaurants or community centres that are closed at the moment who might be willing to rent their kitchens out? If so, please get in touch.

A number of food units around the country can be rented by the hour, week or longer term. Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), Councils, the Rural Development Companies and some community and private enterprises have built proper food units finished to food production standard that you can rent – contact your local council, community office or enterprise company to enquire. Here is a selection on the island of Ireland:

Northern Ireland

The only Food Business Incubation Centre at the time of writing is situated at Loughry Campus in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. The Centre was opened in 1998 and provides the food supply chain with eight purpose-built food processing factory units finished to the highest standards in two sizes, 175mand 225m2 (www.cafre.ac.uk). At the time of writing last year, there were plans afoot to build a second food enterprise centre in Armagh, but I’ll need to follow this up and see where its at.

Republic of Ireland

Connacht

The Food Hub in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim is a shining example. Operational since 2004, the Food Hub provides 26,000 sq. ft. of premium food production space across 14 independent work units and the Community Kitchen is a timeshare production unit where start-up food businesses can make their foods in a fully-equipped kitchen, paying by the hour (currently €15/hour) with no commitment other than to bring your own ingredients (www.thefoodhub.com);

Moy Valley Resources IRD has clients occupying Enterprise Units at a number of locations around Ballina, Co. Mayo, for a mixture of both food and non-food producers (www.moyvalley.ie);

Enterprise Castlerea in Co. Roscommon is currently developing a new facility which will include a kitchen and units to rent, called An Chistin in the Enterprise Hub; (www.castlereaenterprisehub.ie)

Castlehill Foods is a 900 sq. ft. (84m2) kitchen and food production premises available to hire outside Killala, Co. Mayo (contact Clair O’Connor on (087) 652 6065);

There is a new community kitchen available to rent in Balla, Co.Mayo. Contact Seamus Caulfield ballacrdmanager@gmail.com

Munster 

The North Tipperary Food Works in Rearcross, Newport, Co. Tipperary was developed by North Tipperary Food Enterprise Centre (Rearcross) Ltd. An old creamery building was converted into a premium food workspace. There is a timeshare kitchen and production units for rental. At the time of writing, the cost of rental of the timeshare kitchen is €15 per hour + VAT for the fully equipped kitchen which includes gas, water and electricity. The Food Production units cost €550 per month + VAT and as a tenant, you kit them out yourself as well as taking over utility bills (www.northtippfoodworks.ie);

The Limerick Food Centre at Raheen Business Park provides food manufacturing and processing units for commercial letting. Contact Gerry Fitzmaurice, M: +353-86-6380596, T: +353-61-712860, Gerry.Fitzmaurice@shannonproperties.ie(www.shannonproperties.ie);

The Ferbane Food Campus in Co.Offaly opened in 2003. Contact Donal Egan, Business Development Manager, Mobile: 085 877 6098 Tel: 090 6453926 Email: donal@ferbanefoodcampus.ie www.ferbanefoodcampus.ie

Cork County Council operates Cork Incubator Kitchens and can be contacted via www.corkincubatorkitchens.ie

Leinster

North East Food Hub in Ardee, Co.Louth has a fully fitted high spec food unit featuring the highest quality appliances and work areas available to let and a training area  for food courses or demonstrations;

Nutgrove Enterprise Park, Dublin has two high-spec food production units, each 59.45m2 with own-door ground floor access and parking (www.nutgrove-enterprisepark.ie / info@dlrceb.ie);

SPADE Enterprise Centre is a community-based enterprise centre in the converted St. Paul’s Church at North King Street, Dublin (contact Susan Richardson, Centre Manager, (01) 617 4830 www.spade.ie);

Terenure Enterprise Centre (Dublin) has 3 fully-serviced food units (01) 490 3237 / www.terenure-enterprise.ie;

Hour Kitchen is a well equipped facility in Churchtown, Dublin 14.Tel. +353 1 298 0839; E-mail. info@hourkitchen.ie

In Kilkenny, The School of Food offers a commercial Kitchen for small or growing food businesses, professional Chefs or home Cooks to rent on a daily basis. Costs are €90 + VAT @ 23% per day or €45 + VAT @ 23% per half day and includeWaste, Electricity, Sanitizing Solution for Cleaning, Gas, Cleaning Equipment. Contact them at https://schooloffood.ie/incubation-kitchen

Newmarket Kitchen has opened in Bray. Co.Wicklow and offers shared kitchen space on a membership basis. Full details are available on www.newmarketkitchen.ie

Wicklow Enterprise Centre has two food units, comprising 92sq.m. and 85sq.m. approx, over two floors. Contact 0404-66433 www.wicklowenterprise.ie

Ulster

Údarás na Gaeltachta has three food units in Co. Donegal (www.udaras.ie);

Ballybay Food Park, Co.Monaghan has 3 units and an existing Production/Test/Training Kitchen already in the building. Tel: +353 87 602 5291  www.enterprisingmonaghan.ie

NAME COUNTY Shared / Community Kitchen FOOD PRODUCTION UNITS
Enterprise and Research Incubation Campus Carlow Carlow 0 2
Limerick Food Centre Clare 0 3
Ballyhoura Food Centre Cork 0 1
BIM Seafood Development Kitchen Cork 1 2
Cork Incubator Kitchens Cork 1 0
Kickstart Kitchens Cork 2 0
Base Enterprise Centre Dublin 2 0
Enterprise Centres Ireland East Dublin 1 0
Hour Kitchen Dublin 4 0
Nutgrove Enterprise Park Dublin 2 0
SPADE Enterprise Dublin 1 19
Teagasc Food Research Centre Dublin 0 2
Terenure Enterprise Centre Dublin 0 2
The Liffey Trust Food Hub Dublin 0 10
Acorn Kitchens Kildare 1 0
The School of Food Kilkenny 1 0
Mountmellick Food Hub Laois 1 3
The Food Hub Leitrim 1 18
Limerick Racecourse Kitchen Limerick 2 0
Ballyhoura Food Centre Limerick 0 2
North East Regional Food Centre Louth 1 0
Clar IRD Mayo 1 0
St. Coleman’s Training Centre Mayo 1 0
Moy Valley Resources Mayo 0 tbc
Ballybay Enterprise Park Monaghan 1 0
Ferbane Food Campus Offaly 1 3
The North Tipperary Food Works Tipperary 1 3
Food Business Incubation Centre Tyrone 1 8
Newmarket Kitchen Wicklow 1 0
Wicklow Enterprise Centre Wicklow 0 2
THIRD LEVEL INSTITUTIONS with available kitchen Space      
Athlone IT Westmeath 1 0
Cork IT Cork 0 9
GMIT Galway 7 2
IT Tallaght Dublin 2 0
IT Tralee Kerry 2 2
Letterkenny IT Donegal 5 0
St. Angela’s College Sligo 1 0
PLANNED      
An Chistin Roscommon   10
Bia Innovator Campus Galway   12
Ballybay Enterprise Park Monaghan 0 4
Cavan LEO Cavan tbc tbc

Tardy with the blogging, but busy with the social media!

Oh I’ve been very tardy with the blogging this year. But, in my defence, I’ve been very active on Facebook, where I have two pages – oonagheats which mostly features me reviewing restaurants and various foods and MoneyforJambook for new food startups, interesting foods I’ve come across in supermarkets and food producers. I’m on twitter @oonagheats (I love twitter!) and Instagram @oonagheats too though, so if you’re looking for a morsel, then please find me there!

And ofcourse for those of you interested in starting up your own food business but don’t know where to begin, my book Money for Jam is still for sale in bookshops all over the place and from online booksellers – here is the link to the list!

Money for Jam – 2nd edition – The essential guide to starting your own small foot business – Oonagh Monahan – book launch – Oasta Cafe . pic Frances Muldoon.

 

Growing Locally !

Today I finished giving the ‘Grow your own Future’ course for Clár I.R.D. in association with the Local Community Development Programme administered by South West Mayo Development Company Ltd. As well as training in Business Planning for Small Rural Enterprises, I gave a one day introductory course on Opportunities in the Small Food Sector- they all said they enjoyed it, hope they meant it!

The thing with setting up any new food business is to make sure you’ve really throught it through – what you’re going to produce, is there a market? can you get shops to sell it for you? who is going to do the deliveries? can you do the work and manage the business all a the same time? how much will everything cost? how much should you charge?….the list of things to think about seems endless…but as with all things, knowledge is power! So, hopefully my veg growers are feeling pretty powerful this evening, at least a bit more than they did a couple of weeks ago before we started!

This was all part of the Growing Locally project based at Mayfield, Claremorris, Co.Mayo. This project was set up supported by The Arthur Guinness Fund & Clár IRD in 2010. Its a community owned horticultural project established as a Social Enterprise and strives to meet social objectives by trading commercially.

For more information about Growing Locally, call 094-9371830