West Belfast based artisan food producer Tom and Ollie, has secured its first business in GB with Cotswold Fayre, a leading UK distributor of gourmet and fine foods.
The company , a Food NI member,is to provide its 85-strong retail range of products and secured the business after a successful meeting with Cotswold Fayre at an Invest Northern Ireland ‘meet the buyer’ event. The company’s products are handcrafted by its team in Belfast, using ingredients sourced locally and from leading suppliers across the Mediterranean.
Announcing the success, Shay Mullan, one of the founding directors of Tom and Ollie said: “This is our first significant business in Britain and we couldn’t have chosen a better customer to launch our handmade products in such an important market. We’ve been seeking a major distributor there for some time.
“We first met Cotswold Fayre at a ‘meet the buyer’ showcase in Belfast organised by Invest NI last year. This proved to be an extremely important event, which gave us a tremendous opportunity to showcase our extensive product range and develop contacts with key buyers. We subsequently continued discussions with Cotswold Fayre in London before lockdown, which resulted in this contract.
“We look forward to developing this hugely important business relationship by working closely with the Cotswold Fayre team in marketing our unique products throughout the UK and Ireland.”
Welcoming the announcement John Hood, Invest NI Director of Food & Drink said: “This deal is a tremendous endorsement of the quality, taste and innovation underpinning the foods Tom & Ollie handcrafts at its factory in west Belfast, and we are delighted to support its first steps into the GB market.
“It is also great to see that the very practical support we provide to our food and drink companies, both large and small, is making an impact. Our meet the buyer showcase has been hugely successful over the years and underpins our longstanding strategic focus to assist companies win business outside of Northern Ireland. We will continue to help local businesses to maximise the commercial opportunities available to them through comprehensive support and guidance.”
The company also supplies products to Sheridan’s, one of Ireland’s most successful food distributors with a speciality in artisan cheese. The relationship with Sheridan’s has led to a listing with Dunnes Stores, Ireland’s biggest retailer.
In addition, Tom & Ollie has won business from Aldi Ireland for its network of 142 stores across the Republic of Ireland. The progressive company also supplies more than 60 lines to Pallas Foods, one of Ireland’s biggest food distributors.