Green tea from Belfast for London's St Patrick's Day toasts

Mar 15, 2007

Londoners will be able to toast St Patrick and ‘drown their shamrocks’ with a unique green tea (with ginseng and pineapple) from Belfast on 17th March!  Suki Teahouse, an East Belfast producer of gourmet teas, will be among nine Northern Ireland companies assisted by Invest NI to take part in the colourful St Patrick’s Day speciality market at Covent Garden on 17th and 18th March.

The companies will be showing a wide range of quality products including breads, preserves, luxury confectionery, oysters, tea and seeds during the Irish Speciality Food and Drink Market organised by Bord Bia, the Republic of Ireland’s food marketing agency.

Suki Teahouse is one of the Northern Ireland companies which have built their business on the back of success at farmers’ markets across the province including St George’s Market and the Continental Market in Belfast.

Formed in 2005 by Oscar Woolley and Anne Rooney, Suki Teahouse now sources, blends and packages tea from all over the Orient and then markets to customers worldwide through a distribution network and internet sales. Currently the small company sends its gourmet teas to customers in Europe, the US and further afield. Among its most popular blends is green tea with ginseng and pineapple.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, commenting on the initiative, says: “Some of Ireland’s finest speciality food and drink will be offered to Londoners and visitors to the immensely popular Covent Garden market.

“Shoppers will be able to taste the superb quality and wholesome flavours of food now being produced by companies from many parts of Northern Ireland during a distinctively Irish occasion.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to reach a wider audience in one of the UK’s biggest and most popular markets. The event is another example of the benefits for speciality companies, in particular from our longstanding relationship with Bord Bia. It’s also encouraging to see companies graduating from St George’s Market in Belfast to Covent Garden in London.

“The overall objective of Invest NI’s Passport to Export programme is to help companies, both established exporters and newcomers, to drive sales overseas and thereby ensure the continued growth of one of our most important industries,” he adds.

Mr Woolley says: “We’re really excited about the opportunity that Covent Garden will provide for us to reach a wider marketplace. Great Britain is one of our target markets because of the growing recognition of the health benefits of tea.

“We believe we have now developed a unique and comprehensive range of loose-leaf teas that will appeal to consumers there. Our decision to take part has been influenced by the tremendous response to our teams from shoppers at Belfast Market and the Continental Market,” he adds.

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