Erne Larder Preserves in Northern Ireland has listed for two innovative products by leading retailer Henderson Group.
Based in Enniskillen, Erne Larder, a small artisan enterprise run by chef Declan O’Donoghue, has begun supplying its original Irish Bacon Ketchup and Irish Bacon Jam to Henderson’s for the prestigious retailers Spar, Eurospar and Vivo stores throughout Northern Ireland. Erne Larder is a Food NI member company.
Erne Larder’s two products will initially be available in the 26 stores owned by the group, Northern Ireland’s biggest independent retailer and foodservice operation. Erne Larder will also have the potential to win business with the group’s 240 franchised outlets.
Mr O’Donoghue, commenting on its first major retail business, says: “This is a massive breakthrough for us as we approach the third anniversary of my decision to set up the company and the launch of Irish Bacon Jam, our very first product. It’s very positive and exciting for us and a tremendous endorsement of my artisan products.”
The initial approach from Henderson Group to become a supplier was made at this year’s Royal Ulster Agricultural Show at Balmoral Park when it took part in Food NI’s Taste the Greatness pavilion.. “We were thrilled to be asked to become a supplier in what is currently our biggest retail outlet,” Mr O’Donoghue continues. “It’s a marvellous boost for our business,” he adds.
The small company has also been part of a Lidl promotion for smaller food producers and has supplied its bacon jam and Irish whiskey marmalade to the discount retailer throughout Ireland.
The smoked bacon jam and ketchup are part of a developingportfolio of jams, relishes and pesto that Mr O’Donoghue has developed from his experience as a chef over 20 years in leading hotels and restaurants in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland.
The successful smoked bacon jam followed approaches from hotel chefs for such a product for use in dishes and with cheese. ” I’ve always been interested in making my own food products and decided to start with a range of unusual jams and chutneys,” he says.
He adds: “The products are all based on my work in hotel kitchens to create dishes with deliciously different flavour profiles. “I love coming up with innovative food with different blends of flavours,” he adds.
A key element in his approach is a focus on locally-sourced ingredients. “There are so many excellent products available across Northern Ireland that can be used to create innovative and tasty products,” he adds.