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Local company scoop deal with Harrods

02 April 2015

A couple from both sides of the Atlantic who met in Belfast, are now wooing the artisan food scene with their cheese and granola products handcrafted in rural Co. Derry.

Tamnagh Foods, run by husband and wife team Kevin and Julie Hickey, has bagged a deal to supply the world famous food hall at Harrods in London with its tasty granola range.

Its speciality cheese range is inspired by the landscape surrounding their artisan food business in the Faughan Valley area, overlooked by the spectacular Sperrin mountains.

Tamnagh Foods is one of one of 52 rural tourism businesses being supported by Derry City Council’s Rural Tourism Development Programme which is part funded by Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund.

Tamnagh Foods secured its Harrods contract after the Hickeys met the buyer at a Great Taste event in Belfast. “They have ordered and stocked our granola since January,” said Kevin who met Julie, from Boston in the USA, while they were studying at QUB.

Tamnagh Foods was established in June 2010 as a result of the couple’s desire to have their own business in the food sector, Julie having spent many years working as a chef and Kevin working with small farm businesses.

Dart Mountain cheese was launched in June, 2011, followed by Sperrin Blue and Dart Mt. Dusk which won bronze at the world cheese awards in November 2014. The firm recently released its Alpine-style Kilcreen cheese.

The Hickeys explained: “Our vision is, using our natural local food resources to produce great food as distinctive and unique as our landscape and the people that surround us. All our cheeses take their names from historical areas around us. All our products now carry a sketch of Beaghmore Stone Circle in the Sperrins across the packaging.

“We supply a number of independent stores across Ireland and Great Britain and are currently working to develop this further and into the GB market, in particular during 2016.”

Kevin Hickey, is planning to run tours of the cheesemaking process, along with taster sessions: “An additional key driver recently has been the increase in tourists to the region who want to experience local food, drink and hospitality. We see enormous potential in the Faughan Valley and the wider Sperrins area as having the capacity to support new craft and artisan food businesses that in turn will bring more visitors.”

Mary Blake, Tourism Officer for Derry City Council is delighted to see Tamnagh Foods focus on artisan cheesemaking.  “We are working closely with a wide range of artisan producers, as well as our chefs, restaurants and entire supply chain to grow our LegenDerry Food Brand.  We are delighted that the Minister Foster has announced Tourism NI Year of Food 2016 and Derry is committed to leading the way as a must visit food tourism destination of note.”

Tamnagh Foods also has exciting plans to launch a new beer-washed cheese later this year. You can find out more about its handcrafted product ranges at www.tamnaghfoods.com

For further information visit www.discoverfaughanvalley.com and www.facebook.com/discoverfaughanvalley