I love my food - who would ever have guessed! I love going to restaurants, cooking my own, discovering great new Irish products and going to lots of food filled events. I started the Purple Page because I wanted to spread the word about all these discoveries and celebrate all the great restaurants, events and food products that I encounter. Back in June while at Bloom I was introduced to The Foods of Athenry by NenaghGal. This week they were awarded seven Great Taste awards by the UK Guild of Fine Foods. The Great Taste Awards, often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the Food Industry’, are the acknowledged benchmark for speciality food and drink across the UK and Ireland. So it's not just me that thinks their range is fantastic!
The Foods of Athenry Christmas range was the outstanding winner, with their regular and gluten-free Christmas Puddings, SQ Luxury Christmas Puddings produced for Superquinn and Christmas Mince-Meat each winning an award. The Foods of Athenry Very Berry Granola took home an award for the second year running with their Gluten-Free Multi-seed Crackers and their ‘The Works’ Gluten-Free Flapjacks and Granola Bars winning the first gold star award.
“We are absolutely delighted with the results,” said Siobhan Lawless Director of the Foods of Athenry, “To win seven awards in one year is an amazing achievement, particularly for a small company from the West of Ireland. It’s great to see our Christmas range being recognised as it really establishes our reputation in both domestic and international markets as a quality producer of Christmas baked goods”.
It has been a busy year for The Foods of Athenry, having re-built their business after it was destroyed by a fire and only last month launching their extended gluten-free range into Ireland’s leading multiples. “We have had a tough year, but the hard work has paid off”, said Siobhan, “With the addition of dedicated gluten free bakery, we have been able to extend our range. The awards are accredited purely by taste, so to have our gluten free products recognised and awarded for their high taste profile is particularly rewarding. Consumers trust the Great Taste labels and know they won’t be disappointed”, concluded Siobhan Lawless.
The annual Great Taste Accreditation scheme saw over 8,800 food and drinks products entered, blind taste-tested, and whittled down over the course of 45 days. The panel consisted of 350 specialists including fine food retailers, chefs, restaurant critics, food writers, and other industry experts. You can find The Foods of Athenry products nationwide.
Some other great Irish products that won at this year's awards were
- Keogh's Hand Cooked Crisps - Dubliner Irish Cheese &Onion & their Roast Beef & Irish Stout flavours
- Follain for their Marmalade
- Harty's for their Pepper Jelly
- Bombay Pantry - Chicken Tikka Masala & Chicken Korma
- Connacht Gold for their Gold Softer Butter
- Robert Roberts received 3 gold stars for their Java Beans Coffee
If anyone knows of other companies just let me know and I will add them to the list. Congrats to all the companies that received stars they were no doubt very well deserved.