Taste of Monaghan: Food Businesses to Watch

Hot on the heels of foodie destination success, where Monaghan and Glaslough placed fifth in a list of the top culinary destinations in Ireland – the county’s highest ever placing, comes Taste of Monaghan 2018. The event runs 28-30 September and will showcase the very best that food businesses in Monaghan have to offer.

Monaghan is home to world-famous produce, from duck to mushrooms, pork, poultry and so much more. Here are some of the Monaghan food businesses to watch among this year’s exhibitors:

Rucksnacks used the state-of-the-art incubator kitchen facility at the Ballybay Enterprise Park to develop their protein-packed beef bites, which are on sale at SuperValu stores and at gyms throughout the county – soon to be available nationwide. Founder, Colm Connolly, came up with the idea of turning the beef, which his family had farmed for five generations previously, into a healthy on-the-go snack.

Baked With Love recently secured a nationwide contract to supply Lidl stores throughout Ireland. The family-run food business expanded to a dedicated 500-sqm facility last year, and now boasts a separate gluten-free bakery in additional to its regular production facilities.

Blasta: Gourmet Street Kitchen is up for ‘best emerging franchise’ at the upcoming Irish Franchise Awards 2018/19. Seany and Nikita set up their Tex-Mex food truck business after four years eating their way around the world. The duo spotted a gap in the market for good quality private catering, as well as “food trucks people were not afraid to eat from”, and soon turned their passion for Mexican food into a thriving business.

Seany and Nikita of Blasta: Gourmet Street Kitchen – Best Emerging Franchise Nominees

Dairy farmer Seamus McMahon’s response to a slump in milk prices was to turn disused sheds on his property into a microbrewery. In addition to managing the dairy, which supplies the cream to make Bailey’s, Brehon Brewhouse’s beers are supped in bars up and down the country. The company is now eyeing expansion into the US, where the thirst for craft beer is growing exponentially.

Chef Martina Woods was inspired to set up her business, Harry’s Dog Bakery, when she discovered regular dog treats made her pup unwell. Martina went on to study dog nutrition before setting up her natural dog treat business. Earlier this year, Martina won a prize worth €3,000 for an elevator pitch she made at the Enterprise Ireland Fuelling Ambition road show.

Enterprising Monaghan will also be at Taste of Monaghan 2018. Pop along to our stand to meet to team, find out about the Monaghan test kitchen facility and to learn about other available supports for food businesses in the county.

Find out more at tasteofmonaghan.com