11 Dublin food and drink producers selected to take part in this year’s Food Academy

Treats by Sylvia Sylvia Kennedy

Almost three-quarters (72%) of Irish people feel a greater sense of loyalty to local food products, according to a new survey carried out by SuperValu. This sentiment is particularly timely with the launch of this year’s Food Academy producers, emphasising the profound connection Irish people have with locally sourced food. A total of 11 Dublin food and drink producers have been selected to take part in this year’s programme, including; Treats by Sylvia’s Mini Cheesecakes, Fairmental’s Fermented Foods, Smokin Bones Pulled Pork, The Woofing Oven’s Dog Treats, Grásome’s Gluten Free Brownies, Seafood Suppers by Niall Sabongi, RUA Lactation Cookies, Woodfire & Green’s Chilled Sauces & Dips, Bake Barn’s Sourdough Bakes, Flavouritos Latin-Infused Bites and Belmorso’s Breadsticks.

The Food Academy programme, a unique and tailored business development initiative for start-up and early-stage food and drink producers, was developed by SuperValu over a decade ago, in collaboration with the Local Enterprise Office. Since its inception, 11 years ago, more than 1,000 producers from all 26 counties of Ireland have successfully completed the Food Academy programme.   

The 11 new Dublin Food Academy producers have launched their products onto the shelves of their local SuperValu stores. Recent findings reveal that access to locally sourced and produced food holds significant importance for nearly three-quarters (73%) of Irish people. These findings further highlight the significance of initiatives like Food Academy, which focuses on offering the best of local and Irish products to consumers, throughout Ireland. This year’s product lineup from Dublin encompasses a diverse array of products, ranging from mini cheesecakes, dog treats, gluten-free brownies and sourdough bakes. It presents an exciting opportunity for customers to experience these new creations from a remarkable group of producers right in their local stores.

The Food Academy is a significant contributor to the overall growth and sustainability of the Irish food industry. Food Academy producers have sold a combined €230 million of products in SuperValu since 2013, supporting 1,500 jobs in the economy. The programme serves as a platform for showcasing quality Irish products and the innovative spirit of food and drink producers across the nation.

Speaking about the launch of this year’s Food Academy producers, Ciara McClafferty, Trading Director at SuperValu said: “At SuperValu, we have supported the Food Academy programme for over a decade now, and it is wonderful to see that talent and innovation continues to grow in this industry. We are always blown away by the level of applications each year and choosing the successful producers to come onto the programme is never an easy task – which in itself is a testament to the calibre of producers in our country. 

I would like to congratulate our 11 successful Dublin producers who are beginning their journey with the Food Academy this year.”

Speaking about her business and the Food Academy, Sylvia Kennedy, owner of Treats by Sylvia said: “My business specialises in cheesecakes, which are freshly made using the highest quality of ingredients and packaged in recyclable plastic. Since being accepted into the Food Academy Programme along with SuperValu, this has been a huge help to me in terms of the exposure to customers and seeing the standards I need to put in place for my business to excel further.”

Speaking about her business journey and experience so far with Food Academy, Georgia Gonzalez, founder of The Woofing Oven said: “Our business is a Dublin-based home-run bakery for dogs, crafting a fun and creative range of gourmet treats to pamper your furry friends. All our products are homemade, created in small batches, reaffirming our commitment to producing celebratory dog treats made from 100% natural ingredients, locally sourced. The Food Academy with SuperValu has guided us into a new chapter, and we are refining our products to suit necessary retail standards.”

When asked about her career and the impact of the Food Academy on her business journey, Marian Luisana Garcia Vivolo, owner of Flavouritos, said: “My love for food and cooking stems from my Italian & Venezualan heritage.  In 2019, I made the life-changing decision to settle in Ireland. When the pandemic hit, I lost my job, but I used this as motivation to start creating authentic meals and sharing them on social media. My vision was very clear, to share the rich flavours of my Venezualan homeland with the Irish consumer, with our pre-cooked Pastelitos & Tequenos complimented by handcrafted side sauces are a great tasty snack for today’s fast paced world.  The Food Academy has been more than just a programme, it has been a huge part of our success story. They have provided great guidance, helping us to navigate the Irish retail sector.”

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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