Proof of firm’s success in the pudding

The proof of their success is in the pudding — literally.

A family-run artisan black and white pudding making firm based in a Cork Gaeltacht area is planning to double its workforce and plough significant investment into its manufacturing plant over the next two years.

De Róiste employs six people in Ballyvourney in the heart of the Muscraí Gaeltacht and is among dozens of small food firms from Cork and Kerry which took part in the Food Academy Start programme.

They were among the firms displaying their products at an industry showcase in Cork’s City Hall yesterday.

Company director Jimmy Allen, a former plumber, said he’s earning more now than when he was in construction. “Taking part in the academy programme was of enormous benefit and put us on the right path,” he said. “I tend to go bald-headed for things, but the academy provided the advice and direction we needed to focus our business.

“We are planning a significant investment in our facility in Ballyvourney and we plan to create six new jobs over the next two years. We’re building a brand, not just a product range.”

Jason Colbert, managing director of Cork-based canapé company Bitesize, said the programme provided him with a route to market which otherwise would not have been open to him.

“The expert retail knowledge and food marketing expertise which SuperValu, Bord Bia, and the local enterprise boards provide to businesses as part of the programme are key to helping small food businesses get off their feet and grow sustainably.

“To have the opportunity to work with and supply the SuperValu stores in my area is great for my business and as a result I’ll be employing five to six more staff members to meet these new orders,” he said.

The company hopes to introduce frozen versions of some of its desserts to the supermarket chain’s frozen-food section.

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