Carol’s Stock Market, a leading producer of natural bone broths, stocks and gravies is creating two new jobs in Derry as part of a significant expansion in response to a rapid growth in sales outside Northern Ireland.
The expansion of the business, founded and run by Carol Banahan, will see employment grow to five to enable the artisan enterprise to meet the growth in demand for its existing natural products and two new ones developed in association with celebrity chef Paula McIntyre. The two new products will be unveiled shortly.
Mrs Banahan, who established the company in 2016 on the back of a passion for cooking, explains: “Demand for the natural products is greater now than ever especially from customers online.
“We’ve seen online sales growing to 45 percent growth from 20 percent in the past year particularly from digital customers in key growth markets for us such as Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. The coronavirus pandemic has meant more people are cooking at home and searching for natural and healthy ingredients to enhance and add flavour and wholesomeness to their meals,” adds Mrs Banahan. “There is a strong and growing trend for products that help to keep your immune system healthy and natural broths fit very well into this growing trend.”
The switch to a state-of-the-art manufacturing unit, developed to Mrs Banahan’s specifications, gives the business the scope required to grow sales and exports even faster.
“Our website has become an immensely important element in our business and it’s one we will continue to invest in over both long and short terms,” she continues.
The company has won a series of UK Great Taste and Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards for her innovative and healthy products which were initially developed with advice and practical support from the Foodovation Centre at the North West Regional College in Derry.
Originally from Dublin, Mrs Banahan subsequently moved to Canada where I spent 25 years working in the financial sector as a stock trader on the Canadian stock market.
She developed s love of natural bone stock, gravies and broth during her time in Canada “When I returned home to Ireland with my husband, I couldn’t believe that nobody was selling natural stock the way they did in Canada,” she adds. This encouraged to set up her small business to manufacture the products by hand. Ingredients are all sourced from other Irish producers.