Food Academy is a joint initiative between SuperValu, Bord Bia, the network of Local Enterprise Offices and was established to support early-stage Irish food businesses.
To celebrate five years of Food Academy, Hector travelled the country to visit producers involved with the initiative.
The next stop on his route was County Cork and a visit to A Taste of Irish Spirit. A Taste of Irish Spirit produces three flavours of marmalade infused with traditional Irish spirit, Poitin, sourced from local distillers.
Describing the background of the company, founder Betty Smith said: “I needed to pay a large vet’s bill but had no cash for it, so looked for ideas. We had a bottle of Poitin in the house (bought in Killarney, legally) and as I’m no cook, I decided to work with what I had in the house to make Poitin flavoured marmalade.”
Remembering how the business came about, she added: “The local LEO were running courses on Starting your own business and Starting your own food business, dealing with the finances etc. I did all of them and registered A Taste of Irish Spirit in July 2012.”
Speaking about the opportunities afforded to them as a result of taking part in Food Academy, Betty said: “The Food Academy course led my product into SuperValu stores and the marmalade has gone from strength to strength. The high point (so far) was winning the overall prize in the Cork and Kerry Food Forum in June 2015.”
For more information about SuperValu Food Academy click here.