Speciality coffee roaster to bring jobs to Newry

North South Coffee Company, based near Newry, has received Invest Northern Ireland assistance to help it to develop its business as a roaster and supplier of high quality coffee throughout Ireland.


nvest NI’s Southern Regional Office (SRO) has provided support for marketing and other developments at the company, which is investing around £300,000 and aims to create 14 new jobs by the end of 2009. The small company is producing high quality espresso made from Grade 1 Arabica beans sourced only from organic suppliers from the Utz Kapeh organisation that ensures a fair price for farmers.

This commitment to excellence has also led to a major award for the year-old North South Coffee – a gold medal in the Great Taste Awards organised by the Guild of Fine Foods in London.

Formed by two experienced roast masters, William McCoy and Tony Condon, who together have over 20 years’ experience in roasting coffee beans, North South is based at Silverbridge Industrial Estate, near Newry. The company has already built up a sizeable portfolio of foodservice clients among hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and bars throughout Ireland, and is looking to build sales of its unique blends and expertise in Great Britain.

“We’ve used our experience and contacts to develop our own distinctive blends using 18 different varieties of carefully selected coffee beans from 11 different countries including Brazil and Sumatra, “ says William McCoy. “Currently 18 different types of espresso blend are roasted, and we monitor the beans very carefully. This attention to detail and our use of the latest roasting technique is designed to ensure our customers receive consistently high quality coffee.

“We believe that our success comes from our experience and in-depth knowledge of coffee beans and roasting techniques. We are finding that people are increasingly seeking the sort of quality coffee experience that comes from using the very best beans and a meticulous attention to detail from sourcing through to roasting, packaging and retailing. There is a shift underway from filter to freshly prepared coffee in the foodservice sector, and people are also drinking more coffee at home.

“Our service also includes the training of baristas at our premises. Training is the key element in preparing the perfect cup of coffee. Underpinning this service is our conviction that coffee preparation is now almost an exact science,” he adds.

Mark Bleakney, Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office Manager, says: “We are providing a range of support to this ambitious start-up business to develop high quality products for the growing market opportunities it has pinpointed, particularly in the Republic of Ireland.

“As well as providing a range of coffee products, the company is offering expert services that will support its efforts to develop a strong market position, brand awareness and reputation in its target markets,” he adds.

Both directors have a lifelong passion for good, ethically produced coffee and a commitment to the environment, using an afterburner catalyser to ensure that all toxins emitted during roasting are destroyed before being extracted from the roastery.