Local Businesses give supermarket chain food for thought

Food Start Academy Programme Pitches

Ten local food businesses pitched their products to Musgrave Group representatives and Supervalu managers in Ennis today (Tuesday, 20 October 2015) with a view to securing shelf space in Supervalu stores.

The businesses are participants of the Food Academy Start Programme, an initiative of Bord Bia, Supervalu and Local Enterprise Office Clare, which is aimed at nurturing start up food companies.

The programme, which was held for the first time in autumn 2014, consisted of three full-day workshops and one-to-one mentor visits for the participating businesses and concluded with today's event at The Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis.Food Academy 2015 (1)

The Food Start participants are Darren O'Connor (Magic Mayan Raw Chocolate Bars); Martin Critten (Martins Mustards); Geraldine Moloney (Seafields Seaweed Relishes); Vera Muir (Clare Jam); Jordan Kelly (Kelly Sausages Dinner Sausage); Ann Ryan (Delia Keanes Scones); Jose Masillo (Posh Mash); Tara Lee Byrne (GRÁ NOLA); Maeve Eustace (Western Herd Brewery); Michael Roughan (The Master Herbalist); and Martha Mullarny (Unamni).

Commenting on the Food Academy Start Programme, Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Clare, said: "We are delighted to join forces with Bord Bia and Supervalu in this initiative to provide a consistent level of food marketing knowledge to new and early stage food businesses."

"Food Start Ups regardless of Food Academy 2015 (3)their location have access to a standardized programme of supports throughout the county. The programme is delivered through workshop style training and supported by Supervalu in the context of retail expertise and providing a route to market and is designed to guide businesses from start up to retail listing," he added.

"The workshops provide companies with long term business supports including consumer insight, technical advice, resource planning, and commercial advice and marketing development. The output has a core commercial focus whereby all participants will have the opportunity to pitch their product or idea to their local Supervalu, with a view to securing an initial local listing and the potential to build from this," said Mr. McElwee.

The trainer for the Food Academy Start Programme in County Clare was Lahinch-based Food Trainer, Carmel Connaire.