Focus Friday: Kitty O’Byrnes Gourmet Food

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This year, we are teaming up with the SuperValu Food Academy to bring the best of Irish producers straight to you. Today, we chat to with Debbie Ross  owner of Kitty O’Byrnes Gourmet Food Company.

 Can you tell us a bit about your product?

Kitty O’Byrne’s Turf Sauce is a savoury Irish stout sauce. A versatile condiment, Turf Sauce works as a table sauce, baste, marinade, pouring and dipping sauce. It also makes a wonderful flavour enhancer and will add amazing flavour to just about anything you can cook. Turf Sauce combines Irish Stout, tomatoes and spice for a sweet and tangy flavour with no added salt, oil, additives or preservatives.

What inspired you to create your product?

My inspiration stems from my childhood in the Midlands and the food I grew up with. My mother was an amazing cook, everything was made from scratch and always full of flavour. Based on a family recipe, Turf Sauce is all about versatility and flavour. I wanted to create a condiment that could be used in many different ways. Turf Sauce is perfect for pulled pork, BBQs, sauces, gravies, pies, stews, burgers, toasted sandwiches and much more.

How has your product evolved since it has launched?

Turf Sauce hasn’t changed much since it was launched through the SuperValu Food Academy in 2014 but in-store tastings with customers has given us the chance to further develop a new range which we are currently working on. SuperValu have been a fantastic support and allowed us an amazing opportunity. For stockists and recipe ideas, check out our website www.kittyobyrnes.ie

Who is your customer?

Given Turf Sauce’s versatility, my customers include everyone from cooking enthusiasts to those who love a bit of sauce on their burgers, bangers and mash and toasties. Of course there are the customers who love to see Irish and local products. SuperValu and their customers particularly love the idea of supporting local producers, which is why the SuperValu Food Academy has been great for us.

What tips would you give to someone who is starting out and wants to launch a food-related product/business?

Research of course is crucial, not just in terms of your product but potential customers and why they would want to buy the product. Know what is out there and how your product is different, what can it offer the customer that other products can’t.

Networking is also important and thankfully there are many groups out there that offer valuable advice and support, find those that suit you best and join. The learning and support from such groups and contacts will make a huge difference. Also, research Irish programmes for start-up food businesses such as the SuperValu Food Academy, and you can expand your business from there.
Where can you buy this product?

Turf Sauce is on sale in SuperValu stores in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Meath and Kildare at the moment, but we’ll be reaching further very soon with SuperValu.

What does the future hold for your business?

It is an exciting time for Kitty O’Byrnes as we expand our store listings as part of the Food Academy. We are so thankful to SuperValu and of course the individual store managers and Food Academy champions.

Find out more about Supervalu Food Academy here

 

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