If you love to support small, local businesses as much as we do, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Lidl Ireland have introduced more than 30 locally sourced Irish products to their shelves across 216 stores nationwide.

The distinct and delicious range of food celebrate the very best of what Irish producers have to offer from 32 small local suppliers participating in the retailer’s sixth annual Kickstart Supplier Development Programme. Featuring an inherently unique selection of Irish producers, the range reflects Lidl Ireland’s current portfolio of Irish products sourced from its existing and ever-growing network of more than 400 indigenous suppliers.

New to the programme, includes period product company, We Are Riley, Protein Bar company All Real Nutrition and apple farm company, Ballyhoura.

Hailing from the picturesque county of Cork, Ballyhoura Apple Farm was founded in 2009 by Gerry Murphy and Maurice Gilbert, producing fresh homemade apple juice from their very own orchard to sell in local Irish farmers markets.

Much like its fruitful orchard, the company has grown since then, becoming award-winning producers of juices, syrups, and vinegars. “My motto has always been to create an award-winning product, and then go about selling it,” Ballyhoura co-founder, Maurice, commented, delighted to have won Silver for their Wild Atlantic Apple Syrup and Bronze for their Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey at this year’s Blas na hÉireann awards.

Ballyhoura’s new star product hitting the shelves in Lidl stores across the country is their delicious and sweet Mulled Apple Glaze. As the festive season nears, this extraordinary, versatile product will surely become a pantry staple.

While we might envision ourselves using it on a baked ham or drizzled over roasted vegetables, Maurice prefers to keep it simple, and recommends serving it with a fresh plate of pancakes and a scoop of ice cream. “It’s also beautiful on cereal or on porridge!” Maurice adds.

“What the syrup really does for our customers is it gives them a three-star offering in their home. With a simple little bottle of syrup, they can give their dish that extra little bit that you don’t normally have.”

As well as being passionate food producers, Ballyhoura Apple Farm have a particular interest in natural health and wellness products, and vinegar-based products which can be utilised for culinary, medicinal, and hygienic purposes for both humans and animals.

“We’ve always tried to create products on a healthy vein,” Maurice explains, mentioning their nutritious apple and beetroot juice. “Beetroot is a great detox, which you’re supposed to dilute with a blend of vitamin C.” Ballyhoura pride themselves on providing premium, distinct products that serve a purpose beyond that of just juice.

Encouraging other local food producers to start up their own small businesses, Maurice shares his top piece of advice, saying that you must “know your product — know your product and know what your capabilities are.”

Speaking from years of experience in growing his own business, Maurice adds his second piece of advice: “The business needs to be scalable. When we first started doing the syrup, we were doing 100 bottles in the kitchen. Now we have a facility where we can do 3,000 bottles in a batch.”

Ballyhoura’s Mulled Apple Glaze (€3.49), along with many more products featured in the Kickstart Supplier Development Programme, is available to buy in 216 Lidl stores across the country, while stock lasts, so be sure to check out the range in your local Lidl and show your support for these impressive small Irish businesses.

To celebrate their sixth annual Kickstart Supplier Development Programme, Lidl are giving away a €150 voucher to one lucky winner.

To be in with the chance to win, simply answer the question below:

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