A great handmade Artisan BBQ sauce business to look out for in Aldi across IrelandThe more that we settle into Great Northern Larder the more we have notions about who we want to work with and what type of business we want to run.
GNL first traded 22 months ago at Vantastival. We had just 3 sauces and no retail partners. Less than 2 years later our Scotch BBQ is going nationwide in over 130 stores.
We had half decided last year to avoid supermarkets, but then Aldi Ireland dropped us an email out of the blue. They were extraordinarily polite, extremely professional, and most of all they showed great respect for us and our product. Aldi has their own reasons for wanting to work with small local producers, but the difference is that Aldi mean it when they say they are helping small producers to “Grow with Aldi”. It feels like a partnership for us rather than an “opportunity” for us. In the past we have found "opportunity" usually means you bust your ass for us in return for vague promises and slow payments.
We have had a steep learning curve in our relationship with smaller retailers. The shops that took a real interest in our sauce and that have genuine retail expertise have done very well with us. They know their customer and their suppliers, and they have sold hundreds of bottles of our product. It has been hard to keep it on the shelves of some stores, with one store in Belfast selling a bottle an hour on average.
We have been one step removed from a lot of shops though. We have even had people tell us they purchased sauce in a shop we didn't know we were stocked in. As complete control freaks, we can't deal with that. We can't help retailers understand the product and support them in selling it when we don't even know they are stocking it.
I have a point to this ramble. We are going to work with a handful of retail partners from now on. We prefer to work with just 15 to 20 key retailers across Ireland, and when we say work with them we mean really work with them. We will keep them stocked, do promotions, raise awareness, and send people to them to buy sauce. We are looking for small or large independently owned or independently minded artisan food markets or cafes where the staff have a genuine passion for great local food.
We have existing retail partners, especially in Belfast and Dundalk, who we will be working with over the coming weeks as we launch our new brand. We now need passionate retail partners in other key locations.
Please recommend any retailers or food stores you would like to see us work with by commenting below. Or if you would like to partner with us please send us a message.
And the photos are just a reminder that GNL = two food-obsessed nobodies who can't run a business to save their lives, but who know what they like and who know what they want from life. Thanks for joining us on this ride :-) ...
My only school fair this season, Ballinderry Primary School Fri 7th June***10th Anniversary Celebration Summer Fair***
To celebrate 10 years in our new building, come and join us on Friday, 7th June, at our extra-special school summer fair! In addition to the usual fun and games for all ages, there’ll be live music from "Wayne Rogers and the All Stars" and a BBQ from Pig Out NI.
This will be a fantastic family night out from 6pm-8.30pm while helping raise much-needed funds for your child’s school. Everyone is welcome, so please help us spread the word! NB. Free entry – donations welcome. ...