Northern Ireland’s Burren Balsamics in major deals in Britain
The family business, based at Richhill in county Armagh, has started supplying its fruit infused balsamic vinegars to the House of Commons gift shop as well as high-end food retailers Partridges in London and Fenwick in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Partridges has listed two products - award winning Armagh Bramley Apple and Blackberry and Thyme, both made with locally sourced fruit. Armagh Bramley Apple balsamic vinegar won Gold at Blas na hEireann, the Irish National Food and Awards, as well as 2 stars in the Great Taste Awards. Blackberry and Thyme was the Best Artisan Product at Blas in 2017.
The House of Commons is selling a gift pack of three Burren vinegars – Bramley Apple, Blackberry and Thyme and a Balsamic Vinegar - under its own branding.
Susie Hamilton Stubber, who runs the business with development chef Bob McDonald, commenting on the latest business in Britain, says: “We are thrilled to add such prestigious and quality conscious clients to our growing portfolio of high-end customers in Great Britain, a market we’ve been targeting for some considerable time.
“Our growth strategy has involved taking part in major trade shows and other high profile events such as the recent Burghley Horse Trials in Lincolnshire and the Abergavenny Food Festival,” she adds.
“The business with the House of Commons, for instance, came from our participation in the Top Drawer show in London. Our agreements with Partridges, one of the most prestigious retailers of premium food products in London, and Fenwick came through our distribution network.
“All three deals will be immensely important as we continue to develop our business in Great Britain, a significant market for us outside Northern Ireland. We recognised some time ago that we had to grasp marketing opportunities in Britain by engaging in as many events as practicable, representing a very substantial investment in time and finance for a small business,” adds Susie, an experienced chef who set up the business in 2014.
“It’s really very exciting to see a bundle of our unique balsamics in a House of Commons branded gift box,” she continues.
As well as developing a range of balsamic vinegars, Burren Balsamics is also focusing on creating other delicious artisan products such as jams and chutneys from wholesome leftovers of the vinegar production. The recycled products are the outcome of the company’s strategic focus on achieving zero waste.
Among the recycled products created is a balsamic chutney from PGI Armagh Bramley apples for Ballylisk of Armagh to accompany its unique Triple Rose, a triple cream cheese from milk sourced from the dairy’s farm in Co Armagh.
Leftovers of Burren’s blood orange and cardamom balsamic vinegar have been used to create an original marmalade.
The third product so far in the zero waste range is the onion jam which uses the onions left over from the 2 star Great Taste Award roast onion black balsamic. It also goes really well with cheese.
“It makes sense to us to use up the leftovers. They are high-quality ingredients. They taste amazing and we love experimenting so it’s a no brainer!” says Susie.
Burren Balsamics has been assisted by Invest NI to develop sales outside Northern Ireland.