Five Waterford Food Businesses set to have product distributed via Craft Butchers of Ireland through new LEO Programme

Five of Waterford finest food producers are set to access consumers across the country through the new ‘Loving Local' programme organised by the Waterford Local Enterprise Office in conjunction with Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI).

Following a dedicated training programme designed by the LEO in Waterford and ACBI, the Waterford based food producers can now access the nationwide network of Craft Butcher shops to have their wares feature for sale.

The food producers include Javier and Michelle Garduno from El Sombrero, Marie Power from The Sea Gardener, Trevor Murphy from Early Bird Eggs, Richard and Sheila Galvin from Clashganny Organic, Christina Kiely from Tastefully Yours and Little Thai Kitchen.

The Sea Gardener is a seaweed forager and educator who has morphed into a small-scale producer of seaweed-based snacks. Early Bird Free Range Eggs are producing the best quality eggs; they are currently the only free-range egg producer with registered and approved egg packing facilities in Waterford. El Sombrero is a range of Salsas made with traditional Mexican recipes with locally grown ingredients, born in Mexico, made in Ireland. Clashganny organic farm has been growing their crisp tangy organic eating apples for nearly 20 years and produce an Irish organic apple cider vinegar. Tastefully Yours produce a range of good quality, delicious and somewhat different chutneys, delicious Little Thai Kitchen curry sauces are also produced by Tastefully Yours in Waterford.

Loving Local Launch Photo

These five business owners have all taken in the ‘Loving Local' food programme organised by Waterford's Local Enterprise Office and established in association with ACBI.

The 12-week long training programme has taken place over the last number of months. The five food producers each qualified for a place on this specialist mentoring and training programme, which was designed specifically for small to medium food and drinks producers who already produce products which compliment the butcher shop offering.

The initiative offers the small and artisanal food producers an opportunity to drive sales and engagement at a national level providing a totally new route to market as ACBI have recently introduced their own central distribution system; therefore the companies can potentially access the nationwide network of craft butcher shops.

Speaking about the ‘Loving Local' programme Brid Kirby of the Waterford local Enterprise Office said, "Over the last number of months these Waterford business owners have undergone a rigorous training programme that has further strengthened their product offering, pricing strategy and their sales and promotion abilities and now through the programme the unique link with the network of Craft Butchers really opens new doors and a significant route to market. We know that accessing these markets can often take years for small food producers, so this is an excellent fast-track opportunity for each to grow their business significantly."

Commenting on the partnership, Julie Cahill Operations and Marketing Manager with Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland said, “Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI) represent over 400 butcher shop owners across Ireland. ACBI has a strong nationwide network and the flexibility to work with local artisan producers. Craft Butchers face the same challenges as local artisan producers and have the same passion for local Irish produce, thus these many synergies have allowed us to create the perfect marriage in the form of Loving Local. Loving Local gives the local artisan producer the opportunity to grow and flourish in a crowded market place and also enables Craft Butchers to differentiate their shops offering and broaden their local product range.  ACBI are delighted to have established the Loving Local Food Programme and thank Waterford Local Enterprise Office for their support with developing and running the programme over the past few months. We now have a brand and platform in the shape of Loving Local that will enable Craft Butchers and artisan producers to tell ‘A Real Local Food Story.”

The business owners were guided through the programme with expert mentors who provided an insight of the industry knowledge offering guidance and support to effectively target clients, develop a combined sales strategy, provide further insight into finance and margin reviews and central distribution.

The Local Enterprise Office offers support services for a range of start-up and existing SMEs in Waterford.  For further details visit the team at 35 The Mall or at the Civic Offices in Dungarvan; call 0761 10 2905 or email