Heavenly Tasty Organics, the Omagh-based manufacturer of organic baby weaning meals, will represent Northern Ireland at next month’s final of The Pitch, the UK’s biggest small business competition.
The Tyrone company, led by Shauna McCarney, won the Northern Ireland heat of the competition which took place last week in the Maritime Museum, in Liverpool. The 80 shortlisted businesses, including 8 from Northern Ireland, were required to pitch in front of a panel of judges and a live audience and were scored on their pitching ability, as well as their business idea. Shauna will now go forward to the UK Final in London on 16 November, with the other regional finalists representing England, Scotland and Wales for a chance to win a prize fund valued at over £50,000.
Shauna, who formed Heavenly Tasty Organics in 2008 to offer young mums 100 per cent natural baby weaning products, said: “Winning the Northern Ireland heat in this important UK competition is a marvellous endorsement of my business and will help me to raise the company’s profile particularly in Britain.
“We already have a strong base in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland especially with retailers such as Musgrave and SuperValu. However success in The Pitch will help me to develop sales from the inquiries I have already received from potential customers in Great Britain. My objective is to be selling my products in Britain within the next 12 months.”
Invest Northern Ireland’s Director of Food and Tourism, Maynard Mawhinney, said: “Our involvement in The Pitch demonstrates our continued focus on supporting SMEs to grow and importantly gain a foothold in the strategic export markets like Great Britain. Shauna’s success in the competition demonstrates her ability to not only put together a strong pitch but also a strong business model.
“Invest NI has worked closely with Heavenly Tasty Organics in recent years to help them to develop the type of innovative products and sales strategies which have enabled the business to grow and develop. I would like to take this opportunity to wish her luck for the final event in London,” continued Maynard.
Heavenly Tasty Organics has already won an impressive cluster of major awards for enterprise, innovation and quality from organisations including the Soil Association, the leading body for organic products, Women in Business in Northern Ireland and Maternity magazine in the Republic of Ireland.
Four other Northern Ireland businesses were selected as wild card entries to the competition and will take part in a public vote. The two entrepreneurs with the most votes will take the final two places at the Final in London as wildcard entries. You can register your vote for one of the four NI businesses selected as wild cards: Quirky Weddings represented by Cate Conway and Saima Akram; Okotech Ltd represented by Janette O'Hagan; Shnuggle represented by Adam Murphy; and Slidingbifolds represented by Gareth Presley; online at: www.thepitchuk.com.