Photography: Parkway Photography
In picture announcing the contract is Crawford Ewing, Director of Ewing’s Seafood, and Barry McBride, Invest NI’s Executive Director of International Business.
Ewing’s Seafoods, the leading Belfast fishmonger, has won business with Selfridges, the top London store, with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.
The lead which led to the business for Ewing’s was generated by one of Invest NI’s Food Sector Marketing Advisers in London and is the Belfast company’s first retail contract in Britain. The smoked salmon, which is sourced from Glenarm Organic Salmon Company in Co Antrim, went on sale in the Oxford Street store on Tuesday 5 February.
The business breakthrough in Britain was announced by Crawford Ewing, Director of the family owned and managed company, and welcomed by Barry McBride, Invest NI’s Executive Director of International Business, during a visit to its processing plant on the Shankill Road.
Mr McBride, commenting on the contract, said: “This is immensely encouraging for this enterprising and quality conscious Northern Ireland company as it seeks to expand sales abroad. It is the result of an intensive marketing drive by the company in Britain, which our experienced food marketing team has actively assisted in terms of lead generation, the identification of key buyers in the store and guidance on presentation and in contract negotiations.
“As such, it’s an excellent example of the expert and very practical support that our marketing staff has been providing to Northern Ireland food and drink companies, both large and small, over many years. Ewing’s is the latest company to benefit from this expert service.
“The contract also positions Ewing’s to grow faster in Britain and overseas in both the retail and foodservice sectors.”
Mr Ewing said: “Winning our first retail business in Britain with one of the most respected providers of premium food is a marvellous boost for us. It’s a tremendous endorsement of the taste, texture and natural aroma of our smoked salmon.
“We intend to support the business with Selfridges by a programme of samplings in the food hall and to work closely with the team there to raise awareness, particularly among devotees of good food in Britain. Our organic salmon is sourced from Glenarm in Co Antrim and smoked slowly in our own kiln to create a distinctively rich and natural flavour.
“The business will also benefit us as we seek to build on our recent success in supplying a foodservice operation in Dubai and to expand our international sales. We have identified opportunities for our smoked salmon especially in the US and Asia, now a major customer of UK smoked salmon.
“What helps to differentiate our smoked salmon is the superb quality that comes from the location of the Glenarm Organic Salmon farm in the cold, tidal waters of the Irish Sea. This unique and environmentally challenging setting produces a highly textured and delicious fish that we cure carefully using a traditional and natural technique developed by my grandfather, who started the business, over a century ago.”
The Belfast fishmonger, established in 1911, cures the fresh salmon using a unique family recipe in its own kiln at its processing plant in the Shankill Road area of Belfast. Ewing’s uses traditional techniques to smoke the salmon slowly over a fragrant mix of beech and oak wood chips.