Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dermie's Love Irish Food Week: The Story Behind Ballymaloe Relish...

Day two of Love Irish Food Week is a feature on Ballymaloe County Relish. Twenty years ago, Yasmin Hyde, daughter of Ivan and Myrtle Allan, started producing one of Ballymaloe’s favourite recipes under the name Ballymaloe Country Relish. Today the brand is the number one relish brand in the country and is sold right across Europe and America.

The range has expanded to include Jalapeno Pepper Relish, Cranberry Sauce, Mint Jelly, Apple Sauce, Salad Dressings, Pasta Sauces and Cheddar Melt. All these products are made in Little Island in Cork supporting the local community using the very best quality natural ingredients with absolutely no artificial additives.

A number of months ago, Neven Maguire visited Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Relish to get an insight into the making of one of Ireland's most iconic brands.

Coffee Break With Maxine Hyde:

Maxine Hyde, daughter of Yasmin Hyde is the Marketing Manager for Ballymaloe Relish and is growing the business into new markets both in Ireland, across Europe and America. Maxine is an avid supporter of Irish produce and passionately believes in keeping manufacturing jobs in Ireland. Last week I chatted to Maxine about how it all started, why Love Irish Food is so important and her plans for the future of the brand.

Maxine, Ballymaloe Relish where did it all start?

My mum, Yasmin Hyde started Ballymaloe Relish in 1990, she saw a business opportunity using her mother's Myrtle's recipe to preserve the glut of tomatoes from her husband, Ivan's glasshouses. Myrtle served Ballymaloe Relish in the restaurant at Ballymaloe and it was loved by everyone. Yasmin saw the potential to produce it for shops and restaurants not only because of the taste, but because of the natural shelf life and versatility in usage. Fast forward 22 years later, Ballymaloe Relish is the best selling Irish made condiment in Ireland, found nationwide in all good food stores, and on restaurant menus throughout the country.

How many people do you employ?

There are currently 18 people employed by Ballymaloe Country Relish in Little Island, Co. Cork some of whom have been employed by the company since its foundation.

How has the Love Irish Food symbol helped your business?

We joined Love Irish Food at the beginning in 2009 when Irish made products were facing a huge challenge to compete with imported products manufactured in places with much cheaper cost bases and factories with huge scales of production. The Love Irish Food symbol has helped Ballymaloe Relish open a network of Irish producing food companies.

What makes your product different to the competition?

What competition?! ;-)

What are your future plans for Ballymaloe Relish?

We are always aiming to keep product quality as our number one goal. I am aiming to try to build more export markets for Ballymaloe Relish. The brand is constantly seeking to innovate and we are about to launch the Pasta Sauce range, as well as bringing out a delicious new pickled beetroot line. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for more details.

Describe your product in five words...

Delicious & Versatile, 100% Natural Ingredients.

Boo! Win 1 of 10 Spooky Ballymaloe Halloween Jars... 

...click on the image above to be taken straight to the competition page muahahaha!