Local bakery company the Foods of Athenry has been awarded seven Great Taste awards by the UK Guild of Fine Foods. These prestigious awards, often referred to as the Oscars of the food industry, are recognised as a leading benchmark for speciality foods.
The Foods of Athenry’s Christmas range proved especially successful, with its regular and gluten-free Christmas puddings, SQ luxury Christmas puddings (produced for Superquinn ), and Christmas mince-meat each winning an award. For the second year in a row the company’s Very Berry Granola took home an award. The gluten-free multi-seed crackers, ‘The Works’ gluten-free flapjacks and granola bars all won gold star awards.
Siobhan Lawless, director of the Foods of Athrney, said that the company is delighted with its success.
“We are absolutely delighted with the results,” she said. “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.”
The company has had a busy year. Following a fire which destroyed the bakery in 2011, the Foods of Athenry last month launched its extended gluten-free range into some of Ireland’s leading multiples. It also signed a deal to supply its products to Tesco’s UK stores.
“We have had a tough year, but the hard work has paid off,” Ms Lawless said. “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.”
The annual Great Taste accreditation scheme saw a panel of 350 specialists, including fine food retailers, chefs, restaurant critics, and food writers, blind taste-test more than 8,800 food and drinks products over 45 days. The Foods of Athenry hand-bake all its products in its farm-based bakery. It has roughly 20 products in its regular and gluten-free ranges. All its products are free of additives, sweeteners, flavourings, and preservatives.