22 Dec 2017 | 10.43 am
Nine Firms Chosen For Food Works 2018
Good variety on show for Bord Bia, EI and Teagasc accelerator
22 Dec 2017 | 10.43 am
An interesting shortlist of Irish food and drink startups, spanning sheep’s milk ice-cream and plant-based meal pots, has been announced for Food Works 2018.
The busy business accelerator is run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc. It comprises ten day-long workshops and six business adviser sessions, spread out over six months. Participants also visit a two-day fine food fair in London and have a chance to get their products stocked in SuperValu outlets.
Launched five years ago, Food Works has helped 76 food and drink companies to develop and grow. They also secured more than €2m in EI funding.
Bord Bia’s Eileen Bentley said that the nine companies selected for Food Works 2018 all demonstrated a strong product concept, or have already developed a product which meets a genuine market need.
“Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc will work closely with each of these companies to provide the support they need to move to the next level in terms of product development, preparation of an investor ready business plan and ultimately scaling up for the export market,” she added.
“We are delighted to note that five years after launching Food Works, more than one-third of the companies we have worked with are already exporting around the world, while many more are well on the way to achieving their export potential.”
The companies selected to take part in Food Works 2018 include:
Caveman Grub, Galway
Founded by Jac Keady in Connemara in 2015, Caveman Grub produces a range of health foods that are free from grains, gluten, dairy and sugar.
Crosse Family Foods, Tipperary
Brothers Michael and Brendan Crosse from Cashel supply a number of artisan farmhouse cheese-makers around Ireland with sheep’s milk. They founded Crosse Family Foods in 2016 to sell sheep milk products, including sheep milk powder, ice-cream and yoghurt, to domestic and export markets.
In 2016, Shane Ryan from Limerick founded FEED, which creates healthy, plant-based meal pots. They are currently available in retailers across Ireland, including Supervalu and Dunnes Stores with the company donating a meal to a child in the developing world for every pot sold.
Founded by Leonie Lynch from Caherconlish in 2016, Juspy’s first product, Juspy Momme, is a readymade postnatal drink for new mothers. It will launch in March 2018.
Just Add… Dublin
Just Add… was founded in 2016 by husband-and-wife team Patricia D’Arcy and John Callan. It produces meal pots of sautéed vegetables, designed to complement pasta and eggs.
Larkins Brewing Company, Wicklow
A new micro-brewery founded Cillian Fahey and his family. Its focus is on lager, brewed from a production facility in Kilcoole.
Origin Clean Protein Bars, Kerry
Origin Clean Protein Bars was founded by Niall Harty in 2017. The natural high-fibre protein bars are developed with a plant-based prebiotic fibre and are manufactured in Farranfore.
Veggie Heroes, Dublin
Veggie Heroes was founded in Swords by Aileen Cox-Blundell. It is currently developing a range of chilled vegetable bites for children.
Wellnice Foods, Limerick
Wellnice Foods was founded by nutritionist BJ Broderick and engineer Trín O’Brien. Their first product, Wellnice Pops, is a range of healthy ice pops made from cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juice.
Photo (l-r) BJ Broderick, Trin O’Neill, Shane Ryan, Niall Harty and Leonie Lynch (Pic: Chris Bellew/Fennells)