New deal in York for unique Irish Black Butter

Northern Ireland’s unique Irish Black Butter is now on the shelves of one of the best known delis in Yorkshire from an agreement at the recent Taste the Greatness presentation at Fine Food North show in Harrogate.

Irish Black Butter, a Food NI member company, took part in the showcase in Harrogate and met representatives from Costello’s Good Food Shop in York. As a result of the ensuing discussions, Irish Black Butter founder and managing director Alastair Bell has begun supplying his unique sweet/savoury spread to the popular deli.

The Good Food Shop was acquired by businesswoman Carol Costello in September 2017. The shop was a long established and successful food business in York

The aim of the small food business is to provide an outstanding shopping experience for customers by offering delicious food that is served and sold with pride. It continues to specialise in produce from local suppliers.

Mr Bell, commenting on the latest deal in Britain, says. “I am thrilled to have a presence in the historic city of York and in such a successful food retailer. I look forward to working with Carol Costello in promoting my Irish Black Butter to her discerning customer base.

“The business with The Good Food Shop is the latest in a string of listings in specialist food stores in Britain which have resulted from our participation at Taste the Greatness presentations in Britain. I’ve found the events organised by Food NI in association with Invest NI to be tremendously beneficial as I seek to expand sales in Britain.

“I believe we need to see more of these in Britain in the months ahead. The Food NI team is doing a tremendous job in helping smaller food firms develop sales in what is still our biggest marketplace,” he adds.

Another business boost for Alastair came last month from Sheridan’s in the shape of hugely significant listings by Avoca and Fallon & Byrne, both in Dublin and respected as two of the most prestigious food halls and restaurants there. Avoca has around 10 stores on the island of Ireland, including an immensely popular outlet in Belfast, while Fallon and Byrne has a network in greater Dublin.

He developed the delicious spread in 2016 using Armagh Bramley apples, treacle, spices and brandy and launched it the following year.

As well as developing sales in Britain, Alastair is also now fielding inquiries from delis in the US and Germany for the unique spread he launched in November 2017 on the back of a trip to the Channel Island where he sampled an apple spread.


“What led me to look at a sweet/savoury product was our standing as a producer of quality apples in Armagh,” he explains. “I decided to see if I could produce a distinctive Irish Black Butter using our own Bramley apples which could be developed into product with export potential,” he adds.