The following are a selection of local Carlow food suppliers:
McAssey Craft Butchers
Michael McAssey, Ballon Village, Co. Carlow
Michael McAssey has been trading in Ballon for over 25 years. Situated in the heart of the village, Michael is a well known and highly regarded craft butcher who sources his meat locally and is a vital and very popular link in the local food supply chain.
Free Range Chicken
Founded in 2003 by Bertram Salter, Carlow Foods is a wholly owned free range artisan poultry producer located near Fenagh. Unusually in this sector, the company owns and manages the entire supply chain process from rearing and processing the birds through to slaughter, packaging and delivery. Bertram and his wife Celine endeavour to live up to their mission statement, which is “to provide the consumer with a genuine free range Irish chicken at an affordable price”.
Irish Beef, Lamb, Pork & Croyvac Meats
Ballon Meats is a leading meat processing company, accounting for a very significant share of total Irish production. From small beginnings in the 1970s, they now supply high-quality beef, lamb and pork to traditional butcher shops, retailers, food manufacturers and foodservice providers across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Despite their growth, they remain an independently owned family business, committed to long-term values and high standards.
Free Range Eggs
Ballon Free Range Eggs are produced on the Gittens’ farm near Ballon. This small family business, owned by Mary and Pat Gittens, has been nurturing and caring for hens for over 25 years. Ballon Free Range Hens enjoy the freedom of acres of grassland every day, along with a spacious and aired house and a veranda for shelter. During production, the eggs are graded to ensure perfect quality and size before they are packed in their Bord Bia approved and recently refurbished packing centre. These lucky hens permanently roam under the rolling hills of the Blackstairs mountains to produce our favourite, deliciously healthy, golden brown eggs.
Gorse Farm is our primary source of fresh greens. We are delighted to be able to locally source such high quality organic lettuce and herbs.
Traditional Farmhouse Cheeses
Elizabeth’s raw milk Edam style cheese is prepared with great skill from milk produced by a neighbouring dairy farmer’s herd. Building on the centuries old tradition of cheese making, Elizabeth is a true producer of a quality food product that reflects both the seasons and her production process. You can find Elizabeth behind her Savoury Cheese Stall at the weekly Carlow Farmers Market where she sells a selection of fine Irish and international cheeses alongside her own handmade ones.
Coolattin Cheddar is a raw milk, handmade, cheddar produced by Tom Burgess from his own Friesian herd of cows at Knockteen during the summer season.
It is made in 16 kg truckles with a distinctive red coating. The cheese is matured for a year and more before being released. ‘Pasture to Cheddar the same day’ – was awarded a Bronze Medal in the British Cheese Awards of 2010.
Beginning with two acres in 1988, Malone’s fruit farm has grown in size to 12 acres on which Tom, Liz and company grow a wide variety of soft fruit – strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, gooseberries and more. Frozen fruits are also available all year round for smoothies and desserts. All can be purchased from their Farm shop in Ballon and from their stall in Carlow Farmers Market on Saturdays. In 1999 the Malones decided to produce their own jams and jellies. It was so successful that in 2005, they constructed a purpose built kitchen and now produce a wide variety of jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys, fruit tonics and cordials.
Alan Gilbert has established his apple farm on the outskirts of Carlow town and currently in the process of opening a farm shop. Alan and his family produce a lovely mild and sharp apple juice as well as a quality cider vinegar.
At Avonmore, we take great care to help you get the finest quality, freshest products every time.We only source the best from a select group of farms that supply only our dairies. Naturally every drop is traceable back to our local Irish farms.