Business Awards for Three Food NI Members

Food NI members Ballylisk of Armagh cheese, Long Meadow Cider and Blackwell House, Banbridge have won major categories in the annual Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC)Business Awards.

Based at Portadown, Ballylisk, formed by farming brothers Mark and Dean Wright in 2016, won the Best New Business Award for the launch of a new company producing unique Triple Rose, a creamy cheese made from milk sourced from the family’s dairy farm in Tandragee.

The company has since developed significant external sales in the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and Portugal for the original cheese. New product developments include an Armagh cider washed and a smoked cheese.

Another farm-based business, Long Meadow in Loughgall, now one of Ireland’s leading cider producers, won the Best Innovation Award for its apple cider vinegar.

The company, run by Pat, wife Catherine McKeever and son Peter, has recently announced plans to expand production of cider vinegar to meet the growing market demand from consumers interested in the health benefits of cider vinegar.

Long Meadow was established in 2012 on the back of a family heritage of growing applies in their own orchards over more than 50 years.

Blackwell House, owned by Joyce and Steve Brownlees and specialising in serving the best local food and drink, was named Best Hospitality Business in the Awards.

The awards showcase and celebrate the achievements of companies in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon council area which also features the hugely successful Food Heartland initiative.