TS Foods in Castlewellan in line for top Irish business award

TS Foods in Castlewellan, county Down has been shortlisted for the final stages of the influential Energia Family Business Awards in the Republic of Ireland.

The Northern Ireland company, a leading supplier of branded prepared foods to major supermarkets in the UK and Ireland, is listed in the Producer of the Year category in the annual awards.

TS Foods was established in 1981 by husband and wife team, Tony and Ann Steele. Since then, TS Foods has grown into one of Northern Ireland’s most successful commercial food manufacturers, providing customers with exceptional choice, quality and value. It remains a business owned by the family.

The company initially began as a popular fish and chip shop, where Tony and Ann identified a gap in the market for value added coated products within the local food service sector. They worked together to create their iconic ‘Chip Shop Pastie’ – the first of its kind to be sold to food retailers throughout Northern Ireland – which was met with unprecedented demand nationwide.

Following its huge success, Tony and Ann developed and marketed an entire range under the popular ‘Tony’s Chippy’ range from their purpose built premises in Castlewellan.

In 1983, they pin-pointed another gap in the market and became the first food company in Northern Ireland to sell ready prepared fresh breadcrumb stuffing.

The resilience and adaptability of family run businesses across Ireland during the recent pandemic is to be recognised at this year’s Energia Family Business Awards. The event, which was postponed due to Covid-19, celebrates generations of families who work together. The virtual event will kick off on the 18th of October 2021 with the theme of this year’s awards focusing on ‘resilience through generations’.

The theme of ‘Resilience through generations’ aims to recognise the most adaptable family businesses across the country and those who are helping keep the wider SME sector alive.

Alan Mulcahy, head of sales at Energia, said: “Irish family businesses have experienced unprecedented challenges over the past year. The lifeblood of communities across Ireland, their resilience has been an instrumental part of the broader national effort to combat the impacts of the pandemic.

“Therefore, as we continue what is a hopeful reopening of our society and economy, the timing of these awards is fitting. As a founding supporter of the Family Business Awards, we are delighted to once again be able to celebrate the best of indigenous Irish businesses and wish all the finalists every success.”

The virtual ceremony aims to honour these businesses who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic while continuing to thrive and grow.