A NEW Kilkenny-based online start-up is putting together the best of Irish food and craft.
Made To Savour – at www.madetosavour.ie – packages selections from the two artisan sectors to create gift hampers.
One hamper, for example, combines pottery from Castlearch with Highbank apple syrup and artisan granola into a breakfast set, while another includes handmade wooden boards, cheese from Knockdrinna and Goatsbridge trout.
With the business having started in Kilkenny, many of the products are created in Kilkenny as well.
Made To Savour is the work of Justyna Borowski and Josephine Eviston, who met while undertaking the Kilkenny Leader Partnership-funded course Kilkenny Enterprise Tourism Training Opportunities for Women; and Ann-Marie McSorley has also recently come on board.
The course was about developing business skills for women who were coming from unemployment or coming back into professional life after having children.
“During the course, we visited a lot of the producers from Trail Kilkenny and established a need for an online route to market for those producers,” Ms Borowski explained. “There are some where you can buy just craft or just food, but we are offering nice gift ideas, and all of our hampers are handmade.”
“It is about supporting local small businesses as well. A lot of other hampers would have big name brands in them,” she added.
After completing the course, they secured support from Leader to do a feasibility study, to develop links with suppliers and to start selling. They also put the online shop together and developed a brand name.
Made To Savour’s online shop was launched in October, nicely coinciding with the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, at which the business also had a stand on the Parade plaza.
Their market is “anyone interested in Irish culture or the wealth of products made here, food people and anyone who wants to support small businesses, and anyone with family abroad who wants to give something a little bit more thoughtful – if you want to give a taste of Ireland, a taste of home,” Ms Borowski said.
So far a lot of their customers are from Kilkenny, and they have also had support from local authorities who are sending delegations on visits abroad. For example, Ms Borowski said, “Leader went on a visit to England and they brought our hampers with them as a gift and a taster.”
Over the coming months they will be working to develop the online shop further and dealing with some of their corporate customers.
They are also going to be showcasing their hampers at Christmas markets, including a Christmas market in Butler House, Kilkenny.