The Good Food and Wine Company, Coleraine-based specialists in high quality artisan products, has been helped by Invest Northern Ireland to win business from Harrods in London.
The company took part in a Meet the Buyer event organised by Invest NI in London and secured business for its ‘Hot Toddy’ drink, a non-alcoholic spiced apple juice, to the high-end retailer in London’s Knightsbridge.
The initial contract with Harrods was welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director: “This is an immensely encouraging success for a small and ambitious company that is keen to grow its business outside Northern Ireland.
“Our Meet the Buyer events help companies to benefit from the relationships that we have developed with key decision makers in major retailers in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and further afield. This success is an example of how companies prepared to present products professionally, follow up business leads generated as quickly as practicable and allocate the required time and effort to secure the contract can achieve success and win new business.”
The company has received a range of support from Invest NI including R&D assistance for product development, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, an Innovation Voucher, technical advice and marketing support.
Nicholas Lestas, who formed The Good Food and Wine Company in 2011 with wife Michelle, said: “Winning this important business with such a prestigious retailer as Harrods is a massive boost for the company and gives us a platform from which to market other food and drink from our range that includes smoked salmon, juices, condiments and our unique jams.
“The deal follows extensive discussions with Harrods over the past few months. Invest NI’s encouragement and introduction to a buyer from Harrods was extremely important in enabling us to reach a key decision maker quickly.”
The business with Harrods also follows the small company’s success in winning UK Great Taste Awards for several products. Other recent business includes a pop-up shop selling its range of Christmas hampers in the Departures Lounge at the George Best Belfast City Airport and in stores at the iconic Titanic Signature Building close to the city centre.
Describing the beverage as ‘Christmas in a cup’, Mr Lestas said the company will be holding tasting sessions in the store this month for retailer’s customers.