Local food producers in running for national awards

Two West Limerick food producers have been named as finalists in the prestigious 2021 Blas na hÉireann Awards, which will take place virtually (irishfooodawards.com) next Saturday. Now in their 14th year, there was a record number of entries from producers right across the island and the shortlist includes Cotter Organic Lamb of Abbeyfeale and Kearney’s Home Baking of Ballyhahill, and five (Ballyhoura Apple Farm, Glen Áine, Glenstal Foods, Old Irish Creamery Cheese and Sodalicious) others from different parts of Limerick city and county.
Mike Cantwell, Head of Limerick Local Enter-prise Office (LEO) said: “Limerick LEO is delighted that so many of our producers are featuring in this year’s finals. The finalists reflect the range and quality of food produced in Limerick and showcase the very best of what is available.
“During Covid we have seen how people have supported local producers by buying local, and the Blas na hÉireann badge helps support consumer choices and recognition of local brands.”
Jack and Nick are the Cotter brothers. The pair have been entrepreneurs from a young age, setting up their first business Cotter Bros Firewood, aged 13 and 11. Since then, the brothers have turned their attention to the organic sheep farm which they grew up on. The brothers set up Cotter Organic Lamb to sell the organic lamb produced on the farm in Dromtrasna North, Abbeyfeale, direct to homeowners and restaurants.
Behind the successful Kearney’s Homebaking in Ballyhahill are sisters Maura and Siobhán Kearney. After their Leaving Certificate at Mount Trenchard Secondary School in Foynes, the pair completed a comprehensive Diploma in Bakery Production and Management at Dublin Institute of Technology. Kearney’s was established in 1992 and is helped by over 20 service outlets across Limerick and Kerry daily. Their tasty, traditional products like soda bread, scones and apple tarts are from their mother Daisy’s old recipe book.