With over 2,500 food and drink products entered in this year’s Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards competition, Waterford’s Coffee Warehouse brought bronze back to the Deise from Dingle.
Now in its eight year, the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards is the biggest competition on the island of Ireland for quality Irish produce and Coffee Warehouse’s “Coffee House Lane Blend 1690” picked up the accolade in the best coffee category.
Coffee Warehouse is renowned for its Ponticelli brand and in April this year launched its new coffee brand, Coffee House Lane, in honour of Waterford’s coffee roasting tradition.
Mark Bergin, founder of Coffee Warehouse was delighted to receive the award. “It’s a fantastic boost for our company, and a great endorsement of a new coffee blend that was only launched six months ago. Not only is it a bonus to receive recognition from the Blas judging panel, it gives us the confidence to promote our coffee not just in Ireland, but throughout the UK and eventually Europe.”
“Exploring new export markets was always part of our business strategy, but the fact that Coffee House Lane now has a Blas na hEireann award for one of the best coffees in Ireland, will be hugely advantageous to our company.”
Mark also believes that the Blas na hEireann awards encourage food and drink producers to provide consumers with quality produce. “Waterford is punching well above its weight in terms of good food and drink producers. There is a very passionate and proactive collective of Waterford growers, producers and retailers who are dedicated to supplying customers with good quality products and an enjoyable food experience. Competitions, such as Blas na hEireann, encourage producers to aim for consistently high standards.”
Amongst the more renowned foodstuffs that originated in Waterford such as the blaa, rasher and cream cracker, coffee was roasted in Waterford back as far as 1690. John Aikenhead was the visionary who first brewed and distributed coffee in Ireland, from his coffee house in the aptly named Coffee House Lane, and the Coffee House Lane Blend 1690 plays homage to the significant role Waterford played in bringing coffee to the Irish public.
In that past year Coffee Warehouse has increased its distribution exponentially since its participation in the SuperValu Food Academy “Start” and “Advance” programmes and is now stocked in 135 SuperValu stores throughout the country, Ardkeen Quality Food Store and numerous independent retailers. Without the support of agencies such as Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Love Irish Food and SuperValu, Mark says, the company “would not be where it is today.”
Ciaran Cullen, Local Enterprise Office Waterford, congratulated Coffee Warehouse on its award. “Mark and his team at Coffee Warehouse are dedicated to the pursuit of bringing good coffee to their customers. By exploring and undertaking new and innovative roasting techniques and sourcing the finest coffee beans from Kenya, Sumatra, Ethiopia and Brazil, Coffee Warehouse has raised the bar for all coffee producers in the country.”
“Having been involved with the development of the brand concept of Coffee House Lane, with invaluable assistance from Eamonn McEneaney, Director of Waterford Museum of Treasures Waterford LEO is delighted that Coffee House Lane’s Blend 1690 was recognised at the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards.”
For more information about Coffee House Lane and the range of Coffee Warehouse blends visit www.ponticelli.ie or keep up to date with Coffee House Lane on Facebook and Twitter.