Tom & Ollie wins Kickstarter business with Lidl

Food NI member Tom & Ollie, the leading producer of artisan pastes, tapenades, dips, pesto, hummus, roasted tomatoes and olives, has won business with top German discounter Lidl for its products.

Based near Ballymena in county Antrim, Tom & Ollie is one of the most successful producers of artisan fresh foods at markets across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The company has won a listing for its products from Lidl for around 200 stores across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The products include smoked sundried tomato pesto, sundried tomato pesto, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and slow roasted yellow tomato segments with garlic and are produced at the company’s premises near Broughshane.

Lidl listed the products as part of its unique Kickstarter programme which offers smaller food processors an opportunity to build first-time sales in its network of stores.

Shay Mullan, who founded Tom &Ollie with fellow directors Hugh Cushnan and Fergal McGrainne in 2014, says: “We were delighted to be included by Lidl in the Kickstarter programme and now to have won a listing for our unique and handcrafted products which have been successful at food markets across Northern Ireland and the Republic.

“The listing gives us a tremendous springboard to grow sales throughout the island of Ireland and to gain expertise in dealing with such a successful and prestigious retailer,” he adds.

The products are part of Tom & Ollie’s recently launched 15-strong retail packs, an important development for the small company which has also achieved SALSA food safety accreditation.

Tom & Ollie, which takes its name from its success in marketing tomatoes and olives, develops around 70 lines at its modern production operation in county Antrim. These include seasonal products such as wild Irish garlic pesto harvested near the plant, which also specialises in Irish cheese and charcuterie.

The new range is available in a range of pack sizes between 180g and 230g in tubs within an attractive sleeve.

Mr Mullan continues: This diversification into retail packs is the outcome of product development and planning over several months and has been influenced by requests from shoppers at markets about where they can continue to buy our range of fresh products.”

Other high profile customers for their products include Pallas Foods which supplies retailers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

The company is also among the longest established traders at the iconic St George’s food market near Belfast city centre.

Tom & Ollie also runs a successful catering business for parties, weddings, and other events, offering savoury dishes. They’ve even created a unique multi-tiered cheese cake instead of the traditional cake for a local wedding.

The growing popularity of their original and tasty products has encouraged them to invest further in the business. An on-line delivery service has been launched and gourmet food hampers introduced.

The delivery service has over 300 products available for next day delivery in Ireland.

Shay Mullan (right) and Hugh Cushnan of Tom & Ollie.