Lecale Harvest, a specialist producer of gourmet seafood and meats in Northern Ireland, has been listed by one of the UK’s leading artisan food distributors.
The small business has been listed by Cotswold Fayre for its range of seafood pâtés and popular meat products such as Beef Brisket, Confit Duck, Pork Belly and Slow Cooked Pork. The listing is Lecale Harvest’s first retail presence in Great Britain.
The artisan enterprise is owned and run by husband and wife team Patrice and Joy Bonnargent with daughter Perrine and has operations in county Down, in Killough, where it farms and processes Pacific oysters and mussels. They also have a base in Ballynahinch for the production of pâtés and other foods.
Originally from Tours in France, Mr Bonnargent has been involved in the seafood industry, especially shellfish, in Northern Ireland for over 30 years. He is a widely respected personality in the industry.
Commenting on the listing with Cotswold Fayre, Mr Bonnargent says: “We made contact with the distributor at a ‘meet the buyer’ showcase organised last year by local business development agency Invest Northern Ireland.
“This excellent event gave us an opportunity to show and sample our range of products to a host of potential buyers from the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. Cotswold Fayre was impressed by the quality and taste of the products and subsequently came back to us with the offer of a listing in its Christmas catalogue distributed to its huge number of delis and gourmet stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
“We were delighted to have received the offer from such an important gourmet food distributor which could help us to establish a strong presence in Britain and in the Republic – we are already on sale in many delis, fishmongers and other specialist grocers in Northern Ireland,” he adds.
The company’s seven-strong range of seafood and meat pâtés has won awards for their quality and outstanding taste. The range features locally sourced ingredients and includes crab, langoustine, smoked salmon and mackerel.
Mr Bonnargent has developed the oyster and mussel farm at Killough, a small harbour in country Down, into one of Northern Ireland’s biggest exporters of oysters and shell fish to France and further afield.
“Northern Ireland shellfish and other seafood products are exceptional because of the water quality. It’s easy to see why they are so sought after by enthusiasts from other parts of Europe. This quality is reflected in our pates and other foods,” he adds.
John Hood Invest NI’s Director of Food said: “This is excellent news for Lecale Harvest following our Meet the Buyer event. It is great to see the support we offer small companies assist them to make huge steps in new markets. I look forward to seeing Lecale Harvest use this contract as a springboard to further contracts in this market and beyond.”
Cotswold Fayre is dedicated to providing independent retailers with a complete range of top quality ambient food and drink products. It is focused on gourmet foods from small producers that aren’t usually chosen by major supermarkets.