Susan McLaughlin of Love A Little Sauces is one of two Donegal businesses that will have her products on SuperValu shelves.
Susan McLaughlin says she learned so much from the programme.: “There was so much in-depth learning, I particularly enjoyed the marketing side of things and discovering how to streamline the brand. We also looked at ways to grow and develop new product lines around key times of the year, like Halloween and Christmas. I also worked on the new website; it was all very worthwhile and I’m excited to see my product on the shelves of SuperValu.”
Caroline Doherty says she also enjoyed the programme and gained a lot from it: “The Food Academy offers amazing support and nurtures many small businesses like mine, participating in the programme was so beneficial to every aspect of my business. The course also helped to build my confidence and showed me a clear pathway to getting our products on the shelves in SuperValu. I really enjoyed the whole learning experience.”
Caroline Doherty of Sinless Snacks will also have her products stocked in SuperValu.
Since the Food Academy began, producers that have come through the programme have sold approximately €140 million worth of produce and supported 1,500 jobs across the country. The programme has graduated many well-known food and drink brands since it began seven years ago including The Happy Pear, Strong Roots, Dr. Coy’s Health Foods, Absolute Nutrition, Solaris Tea and Hope Beer. Donegal has had several Food Academy success stories including Derek Walker of Natnoot which grows certified organic wheatgrass and produces a range of cold pressed juice products that retail online and in SuperValu stores. Other Donegal success stories from The Food Academy include O’Donnell’s Bakery in Laghey, Simply Inish in Malin, and Wild Fuschia Bakehouse in Dunfanaghy.
We wish Caroline and Susan all the best with the next stage of their food journey. If you’ve been inspired by their success, then check out our next Start Your Own Business Programme which commences on Monday 17th May 2021. It will be delivered online, across eight sessions over five weeks with two sessions per week from 5.30pm to 9pm. Each participant will be allocated up to four hours of mentoring to help develop their business plan and business idea.
The Food Academy 2021 application process is now open; the application process closes on April 23rd. The programme starts in September and will run into 2022. To be eligible for The Food Academy, applicants must first complete the Food Starter Programme.
For more information, email Margaret.Campbell@leo.donegalcoco.ie