Leitrim and Food

Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim is home to a world class state of the art food production facility called The Food Hub.

The Food Hub is a state of the art, food specific enterprise centre of 14 individual food business units offering world class food production facilities being only one-of-its kind in Ireland. As potential clients may need assistance to get up and running or to make a transition from their existing premises to The Food Hub, on site expertise is available to ensure a smooth transition for potential clients.

The following on-site supports are available to tenants:

  • Food Technologist
  • Business Plan Consultant
  • Marketing Support
  • Origin Farmer's Market Showcase* Community Kitchen

Some of the companies already located in the Food Hub include: Lough Allen Foods the Cheese Company and carraig na breac smokehouse. For more information check out www.thefoodhub.com

There is a range of other small food companies in Leitrim based in different parts of Leitrim including Canaboe Confectionary in Ballinamore which specialises in cakes for special occasions, bakeries such as Jinny’s bakery in Drumshanbo and McNiffe’s Bakery in Aughnashellin and Mary Logan in Drumshanbo. Other food produced include organic wines, honey, jams and chutneys and relishes.

Opportunities in Food

As Leitrim is well established as a small food producers base, there is a network of people to ask any questions you have on setting up your business as well as opportunities to trial your product by hiring time in the Community Kitchen of the Food Hub or getting advice from their Food Technologist. There are a range of farmers markets in the county which attract good crowds especially during the peak tourism months.

Examples of Companies/Projects in Forest Sector in Leitrim

Canaboe Confectionery

Sharon Sweeney is the owner of Canaboe Confectionery and she makes and decorates cakes for every occasion and sells her product across Ireland from her base in Ballinamore. She has made cakes for several famous people and her aim is to have people enjoy her cakes as much as she enjoys making them.

Lough Allen Foods

Stephen O’ Dowd established Lough Allen Foods in The Food Hub, Co. Leitrim in early 2006. The company has become Ireland’s favourite ready meal producer with its range of chilled, restaurant quality complete meals. Employing 10 full time staff, the company now distributes its products in over 400 retail outlets on an all island basis.

The Cheese Hub

The Cheese Hub is based at the Food Hub, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim. The business was established in 2012 to provide artisan contract cheese ripening and maturing service to the expanding farmhouse cheese market in Ireland.

Jinny’s Bakery

Proprietors Sinead Gillard and her husband Pascal Gillard - run the family business from her premises in Drumshanbo and has been baking commercially since 2003. "I made brown bread for our family business 'McGuire's Cottages'. The reaction from our Irish and foreign visitors was always very positive. My best friend convinced me to try selling to local shops in Drumshanbo and that was the start of our bakery business. The response from local people was so positive that I decided to try another few shops. Now I'm supplying over thirty outlets in Roscommon, Sligo, Longford, and Leitrim."

Useful Contacts for Food Sector in Leitrim

Fergal McPartland, The Food Hub, Drumshanbo

info@thefoodhub.com 353 (0) 71 96 41848

Joe Lowe, Leitrim Local Enterprise Office info@leo.leitrimcoco.ie  353 (0) 71 9620450

Leitrim- One Call to Success 353 (0)71 9650496

Carrick on Shannon Farmers’ Market, c/o MRD 353 (0)71 9650816

Manorhamilton Farmers’ Market c/o The Bee Park gcreamer@beeparkresourcecentre.com  353 (0)71 9856935

National Organic Training Skillnet, Drumshanbo 353 (0)71 9640688 www.nots.ie

Home Economics Dept, St Angela’s College, Lough Gill 353 (0) 71 9143580

Upper Shannon Erne Future Economy Regional Food Group, usefe@leitrimcoco.ie 071 9650400

Role of Local Authority in Food Sector

Each local authority has a role in planning and the Planning Department is available to meet for pre-planning meetings where a premises is being considered for a Food Enterprise. Other factors to be taken into account can also be explained at that meeting.

The Local Enterprise Office is based in the offices of Leitrim County Council and it offers a range of supports to businesses including services sector e.g. mentoring, training, financial and information supports.