Heron Quality Foods Ltd, a company that specialises in the production of healthy organic and gluten free products, today (4th July) announced that it is to establish a second base in Ballingeary, Co. Cork and create 30 new jobs with the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta.
The company produces a range of speciality breads, biscuits and cakes for the Irish, UK, European and world markets. The new company (Bia Gan Breise Teo) will now produce all the Heron Foods gluten free products at its new base on the Údarás na Gaeltachta Industrial Estate in Ballingeary.
Speaking at the announcement, Dinny McGinley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht welcomed the decision by Heron Foods to expand to Ballingeary. “I’m delighted to be in a position to announce this new venture today. This company is already well placed in the market and has grown from strength to strength since it was established in 1999. Heron Foods has been at the forefront in product innovation and the supply of organic and gluten free foods. The ‘Free From’ niche foods sector is one of the fastest growing in the country and this company are central to this development. The number and level of its customer base is proof of that. The Minister also commended Údarás na Gaeltachta on its role on employment creation in the Cork Gaeltacht. “This project is another testament of how the mentoring, support and assistance that Údarás provides helps to generate sustainable employment in rural areas”, he said.
Bia Gan Breise Teo recently took over Cistí Gúgán Barra Teo which operated out of the same premises in Ballingeary where 7 people were employed. Since taking over the business two months ago the company has already more than doubled employment at the facility and plans to increase the numbers employed to over 40 people. Heron Foods also has a facility in Knockbrown, Bandon, Co. Cork where non gluten free biscuits for a major biscuit brand as well as fresh baked products are produced and has also increased employment numbers at that facility in recent time. Its customers include Musgraves, Jacobs Fruitfield Group, Kelkin, National Organics, Aldi Ireland, Wholefoods Wholesale, ASDA in the United Kingdom, Nutrition et Sante in France and Il Fior di Loto in Italy.
Elizabeth Dawson, co-owner and director of Heron Foods along with her husband John, said “We have seen a huge increase in the demand for our gluten free products in the past 2 years. This new facility places us in a position to respond to that demand and will allow us to increase production and range of products we offer. We believe this new venture places our business in a more competitive position, presents our customers with further product offerings and ensures our business can grow into the future. Our new Lite rice cakes, with a chocolate that has 35% less fat than any other rice cake on the market, and our new fresh gluten free bread soon to be on supermarket shelves, demonstrates our ability to innovate, develop and market products in this growing market sector.”
Regional Chairman of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Mícheál Ó Scanaill said that Údarás na Gaeltachta was delighted to be in a position to support the venture. “The employment opportunities that this company will generate are crucial to the Múscraí Gaeltacht and already, at this early stage, we have seen an increase in the number of people employed by the company. This is a good example of how Údarás works with businesses and offers support that allow them to develop and expand their business. We are very pleased to be able to facilitate the expansion of Heron Foods to Ballingeary.”