Aspiring new Irish food business, The Radical Food Company, located in Dublin, will soon get to stock its Radical Oats product on SPAR shelves nationwide after today being announced the winner of a 10 week competition run by Newstalk 106-108 fm’s ‘Down to Business’ and SPAR Ireland to find the country’s best new food producer. Runners-up, Zanna Cookhouse, from Wexford, will also get the opportunity to sell their gourmet products at their local SPAR stores.
The Radical Food Company and Zanna Cookhouse beat off stiff competition from over 50 up-and-coming food producers from all across Ireland, making it to a short list of finalists selected by a panel of judges including Bobby Kerr, Simon Marriott for SPAR, Kieran Rumley for Love Irish Foods and Food Consultant, James Burke. The final task for the shortlisted companies was a ‘speed dating’ event with the SPAR management team to select the overall winner.
Simon Marriott, Trading Director, BWG Foods (owners and operators of SPAR Ireland) said: “We are absolutely delighted to be in a position to give The Radical Food Company an instant nationwide entry into the Irish grocery sector. Our SPAR retailers are dedicated to supporting Irish food producers, as well as looking for innovative new products to bring to market, and this partnership with Newstalk has delivered on both fronts. We were extremely impressed by the quality and calibre of entrants and look forward to introducing these new products to SPAR customers in the coming weeks.”
Speaking about the competition, Down to Business presenter, entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star, Bobby Kerr, said: “This has been a fantastic initiative and has resulted in real positive on air debate with the artisan food community. Small well run Irish food businesses are one of the great hopes for the future of Irish business. We have also given the two winners a real opportunity to scale up and increase their sales and output by getting their products onto the shelves at Spar.”
The Radical Food Company is headed up by husband and wife team, Miriam Cox-Monahan and Tony Monahan, who earlier this year decided to ‘make oats cools’ by developing a tasty product that would appeal to their four hungry kids, Tabitha, Ayesha, Zuleika & Ka. With a team of critics at the ready, it wasn’t long before they turned ordinary porridge into Radical Oats, using all natural Irish ingredients to keep the hunger at bay for longer and give the family the energy needed to sustain them through school, work and their hectic activity schedules.
Radical Oats is a chilled product containing the superfoods oats and low-fat probiotic yogurt designed to be eaten for breakfast or as a snack. Made only with Irish oats, milk, cream and yogurt, Radical Oats comes in Original, Strawberry, Black Cherry and Raspberry flavours.
Runner-up Zanna Cookhouse is a small family business, established by Owen and Lorna Mullins in early 2008, which started in the home kitchen and now operates out of a specially equipped kitchen in Wexford. The company has gone from strength to strength, reporting growth of nearly 40% last year and holding numerous awards including 1st place at the All Ireland Farmers Market Competition 2011. Using locally grown produce and only natural ingredients, the Mullins have a product repertoire spanning gourmet quiches, pies, soups, pate and desserts.