Glastry Farm Ice Cream, an artisan producer of premium ice cream and sorbets, has won Ireland’s most prestigious awards for innovation.
The award winning company, formed by Will Taylor on the family farm at Glastry on the picturesque and lush pastures of the Ards Peninsula in County Down, has been named as the winner of the coveted Speciality Food Category in the all-Ireland JFC Innovation Awards for Rural Business.
The aim of the awards is to motivate individuals to take an innovative approach to new business and help them turn a novel business idea into a commercial reality.
Glastry Farm Ice Cream gained the award for its outstanding commitment to the development and sale of its extensive range of ice cream and sorbets made from Red Tractor quality accredited milk from the farm’s Holstein herd. The ice cream and sorbets have the important Safe and Local Supplier Accreditation required by top retailers.
Mr Taylor says: “Winning this important award is a marvellous endorsement of our strategic focus on highly innovative products, processes and customer services.
“The award will be of immense support to us as we continue our marketing campaign to increase awareness of the quality of our unique products particularly in the Republic of Ireland indeed further afield. Publicity resulting from the award will enhance our marketing campaign in the Republic.
“Our focus is now on expanding business to Britain and the Republic. We’re currently extremely busy dealing with higher levels of both orders and inquiries. In addition, we’ve received approaches from interested retailers in Britain.”
The company now offers around 20 flavours of ice cream and sorbets. Among its most innovative and successful is Kilbeggan Ice Cream from whiskey distilled by the Cooley company near Carlingford Lough in the Republic of Ireland.
Glastry Farm, which has won a string of UK Great Taste Awards, has strengthened its luxury ice cream portfolio for the summer season by adding Coconut, Cappuccino Milano and Raspberry and Lavender.
Formed in 2007 as a farm diversification project, Glastry Farm Ice Cream recently announced plans for an eight-fold increase in output through the development of a new processing plant, again on the family farm.
Glastry Farm is also developing a frozen yoghurt dessert in association with another Northern Ireland artisan dairy business, Clandeboye Estate, based near Bangor in County Down.
The award will enable the company to benefit from expert mentoring and other support over the next six months in areas such as strategic marketing. Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Teagsac with marketing and strategic direction. The advertising element of the prize will enable the company to raise the awareness for its products in the market place.