Medals for Laois Taste Producers at National Food Awards

Laois Taste Food and Drink producers won many medals at the recent Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards that took place in Dingle.  This is an incredible achievement.  Laois Taste has 26 members, seven of whom were Finalists in this year’s awards.  Our Finalists included The Village Dairy, Mueller & O’Connell, Aghaboe Farm Foods, Abbey Farm Foods, Ion Oil, Ballykilcavan Brewing Company and Temptation Chocolates. Ballykilcavan Brewing Company won the Best in Laois Award along with a Gold Medal for their Blackwell Stout in the Beers, Porters & Stouts category.  

The Village Dairy in Clonmore won an incredible 5 medals including 3 Gold Medals – one Gold for their Dunnes Stores Simply Better Single Source Jersey Cream and 2 Golds in the Milk category for their Village Dairy Jersey Milk and Simply Better Jersey Milk.  Yes they won a joint Gold medal and also a Bronze Medal for their Village Dairy Organic Milk in this same Dairy – Milk category.   Their fifth medal was a Bronze medal for their Village Dairy Fresh Cream.  This father/daughter team of Noel Barcoe and his daugher Shelley are truly best in class.

The Blas na hEireann awards take place in Dingle every year as part of the Dingle Food Festival.   Blas na hEireann is truly a great event for finalists to network among  fellow food and drink producers in Ireland, both Republic and Northern Ireland, where Buyers from the main retailers and specialist stores come to meet the producers and to taste their products.  The event also attracts food writers, chefs and keynote speakers from various parts of the food and drinks industry.  

Other Laois Taste winners included Mueller & O’Connell  who won a Silver for their amazing Lemon Meringue Cruffin  and Niamh Maher from Aghaboe Farm Foods for her fabulous creation of a Trio of Christmas Cakes, pictured.  The Gee Family, led by the infamous Helen, was up for more awards again this year for their preserves and conserves under the Abbey Farm brand.

Liz Kennedy from Laois Taste stated it was a super event for Laois Taste producers to be part of.  Laois food and drink is a really great place and the results of the Awards highlight the quality of the food and drink products produced in Laois.  The products are available in many supermarkets, retailers, specialist shops and direct from the producers online.  Hampers are also available for purchasing at any time of the year. 

Laois Taste was also well represented in the Eat Ireland in a Day Pavillion which hosted food and drink producers from around the country over the 3 days, organised in the Provinces of Ireland. All of the producers were represented and Markus and Andreas Milley from Ion Oil worked tirelessly over the 3 days showcasing Laois Taste products and doing tastings for their product, meeting consumers, Buyers, Chefs and Food Writers showcasing their many cold pressed oils including their 2 Blas na hEireann Award Winning products – a Silver Medal for their Hazelnut Oil and a Bronze Medal for their Sunflower Oil. Laois Taste’s presence in the Pavillion was kindly sponsored by Laois Local Enterprise Office and Laois Partnership.  

Mark Clancy from Laois Local Enterprise Office stated the importance of supporting these local food and drink enterprises, many of whom have come through LEO’s Enterprise development programmes and different training on offer.  The Start Your Own Business course is particularly useful for people wishing to develop a business idea and are unsure as to how to develop the idea into a business plan and ultimately into a business. The course includes several training sessions and invaluable in person mentoring sessions to further tailor content to individual needs.  Mark and the team at LEO in Laois can be contacted on or by phone on 057 866 1800

For more details on Laois Taste producers, products, hampers and suppliers can be found on and on their social media platforms of Instagram and Facebook.