Blackthorn Foods with Partridges at Coronation Festival

Blackthorn Foods, the Belfast-based manufacturer of gourmet fudges and fondue, has been chosen by Partridges of Sloane Square, London to be part of its presentation at this month’s Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace from 11-14 July.

Partridges, holder of a Royal Warrant to supply gourmet foods to the Queen and London’s leading specialist food and drink retailer, chose Blackthorn Foods following an event for UK Great Taste Awards winners which was organised by Invest Northern Ireland. Blackthorn was founded in 2004 by Dorothy Bittles, and sisters Cathy Johnston and Jenny Lowry.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director said: “Being chosen by such a prestigious and influential retailer as Partridges is immensely important for Blackthorn Foods and also for the wider Northern Ireland food and drink industry. The festival will celebrate the innovation and excellence of our industry.

“Blackthorn Foods has a tremendous track record of success in the Great Taste Awards, which are sponsored by Invest NI.  Furthermore, the company has used a range of Invest NI services to expand sales outside Northern Ireland and establish an international presence.

Dorothy Bittles said: “Being chosen by Partridges for this very prestigious event is a marvellous boost for the company and is a huge endorsement of the innovation and quality underpinning our award winning fudges and fondues.

“We were asked to develop three new floral flavours for the Chelsea Flower Show that would also be featured during the unique Coronation Festival. The flavours choices were in line with a decision by Partridges to focus on the unique history of the gardens in the district of London where the retailer is now based.

“To meet this commission, we created three new fudges – Hint of Rose, Geranium and Vanilla, and Honey Flower, three quite different flavours for us. They impressed Partridges and proved popular at the Chelsea Flower Show and with shoppers at Sloane Square. Working with Partridges has been a tremendous experience.”

John Shepherd, Managing Director of Partridges said: “Our presentation at the Coronation Festival carries forward our longstanding reputation for selling delicious foods that we sourced from British artisan producers like Blackthorn Foods. We’ve received tremendous encouragement from business agencies throughout the UK in identifying artisan foods for the event.

“We are delighted to be part of this historic event and to have the opportunity to showcase the originality and quality of many of our artisan suppliers. Other artisan products developed for us include elderflower flavour chocolates, honey biscuits, tea with marigold blossoms and rose petal jelly, all carefully made by hand or blended to our own recipes.”

Partridges will be among more than 200 companies which hold Royal Warrants of Appointment, the biggest-ever event of its kind to promote the very best of UK plc.