Belfast has risen in popularity in recent years thanks to the hit show Game of Thrones being filmed locally. However, Belfast is also the birthplace of the Titanic, as well as being home to the infamous Victorian prison, Crumlin Road Gaol and the beautiful and cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter. If you’re from Northern Ireland, you might be familiar with Nambarrie and Ferguson’s Irish Linen. However, there are far more local brands than you may think.
Belfast’s Suki Tea ethically sources and blends loose-leaf teas, herbal infusions and fruit blends from all over the world. Their vision a global community of loose-leaf tea drinkers with an appreciation for a great-tasting, ethically sourced cuppa. Suki Tea hopes to grow in an adventurous, responsible and sustainable way; they respect and value people, plants and the planet.
Dale Farm is Northern Ireland’s leading dairy company. It is owned by a cooperative of 1,300 dairy farmers and employs more than 1,000 people. The farm is immensely proud of its heritage and its extensive range of products; milk, cream, cheese, ice cream, yoghurt and spreads are all available worldwide.
Thompson’s started life in a tea warehouse near Belfast docks in 1896. Thanks to the passion and knowledge of its founder, Robert S Thompson, Thompson’s Tea quickly became known for its uncompromising devotion to quality. Since then, four generations of Thompsons’ have been blending and packing award-winning tea in Belfast. Today, over 1 million cups of Thompson’s Punjana are enjoyed every single day, in Northern Ireland alone.
The Mortons Flour story started in 1835 when a Ballymena farmer Robert Morton purchased an old distillery in Ballymena. Originally, the company mixed animal food but in 1895 began to grind flour for domestic use. During the early 20th century Mortons Flour became a staple for locals; today the brand is the home of Northern Irish baking. Mortons Flour is the essential ingredient for baking of any kind.
Baked in Belfast
Working from a converted outbuilding in their countryside home, Suzanne and her husband produce quirky, original pottery and a mouth-watering selection of unusual jams, marmalades and chutneys. Baked In Belfast’s pottery is colourful and playful, hand-painted with charming illustrations. Their jams are fun, with inviting flavours such as raspberry, apple and lime, mojito marmalade or Guinness and garlic chutney.
BlackFire Artisan Food
Tim McCarthy is a Belfast native, street artist, sauce alchemist and chilli fanatic. He founded BlackFire in 2014 to satiate his appetite for fiery food. The company specialises in creating unique, fresh chilli sauces, using only natural ingredients. BlackFire uses home-grown peppers and supports local suppliers wherever possible; apple cider vinegar from the Armagh Cider Company, dulse from the Connemara Seaweed Company and wild garlic picked less than a mile away from BlackFire HQ.
Melting Pot Fudge
Award-winning handmade fudge sounds good to us! Melting Pot Fudge is the brainchild of three Belfast sisters who spent 18 months pouring over the stove to find the perfect recipe. The sisters’ ethos is ‘less is more’. They keep it simple from the ingredient list right through to the packaging. Their process is simple: open pot, small-batch, hand-beaten and hand-cut fudge. Their fudges are available all over the world in an extensive range of flavours.
Kay Armstrong is a dedicated foodie and traveller, who has been cooking and baking for more than 25 years. She is the brains behind Deli MURU; this Belfast brand places emphasis on their use of locally sourced produce. Their passion is to create top quality food that shines through each and every product.
If you’re in Belfast, keep an eye out for these brands. The city is making a name for itself in the food and drink industry and we can’t wait to see these Belfast brands grow. The emphasis the brands place on sourcing local ingredients is something we can learn from as consumers; we must look to support local brands ourselves! Take a look at YouK’s city spotlights to find the brands local to your own hometown.