Food Academy supports over 600 local start-ups on all aspects of the food business
Partnering for success
Our business model is all about partnering for success. As a family-owned business, we work with thousands of other family businesses and their local communities in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Spain. Through our support of local initiatives, we aim to enrich everyday lives, make communities vibrant, and provide shoppers with an offer that is different and better.
Building vibrant communities
Our long-term commitment to independent businesses and communities helps create the local multiplier effect. For every €1 spent in a local business, 45 cents are reinvested locally. For every €1 spent at a corporate chain, only 15 cents are reinvested locally.
Making a difference locally
Our retail partners are committed to the communities they serve, supporting local schools, charities and sports clubs, as well as national campaigns like TidyTowns. For example, in October 2015 over 250 Centra stores hosted walks across Ireland to raise money for Irish Cancer Society’s Action Breast Cancer programme.
Developing new business
We are strengthening our brands by investing heavily in our people, giving them the space they need to dream up the impossible – to delight shoppers and improve our brands. The results have delivered a new energy and pace across our teams.
At the same time, we aim to grow through applying our existing skill sets to new areas. This might mean extending our existing brands into complementary products and services.
It is also about diversifying our business to extend our reach through new ventures. Right now, we are actively looking to forge new partnerships with businesses that share our values and our commitment to profit with principle.
One such partnership is our new alliance with Alibaba Group. We’re the first Irish retailer with a presence on the Tmall Global platform, opening a potential new route to market for Irish food producers seeking to access discerning Chinese consumers who are seeking out high quality brands from trusted sources overseas. The partnerships plays to the strengths of our heritage and the provenance of our products, and builds on our reputation of authenticity and quality.
Our Stores of the Year
SuperValu Store of the Year – Garvey’s SuperValu in Dingle, Co. Kerry
On receipt of the award, owner Jim Garvey said: ‘In 2015, we invested €2.7 million to completely revamp our store, demonstrating our long-standing commitment to the community and economy in Dingle. We have been serving the community of Dingle since 1935 and this award is a real testament to having a great team and a store that we are all proud of.’
Centra Store of the Year – Brett’s Centra in Kildare
Brett’s Centra in Kildare has been named the best Centra in Ireland, scooping the ‘Centra Store of the Year’ title for 2017. The store received the much coveted accolade at the Centra National Conference which was held in the Malton Hotel, Killarney recently.
Daybreak Store of the Year
Daybreak Clonliffe Road, in Drumcondra, Dublin 9, was named Store of the Year at the annual Daybreak Store of the Year Awards. A series of mystery shopper audits assessed products and services, environment, communications, as well as people and behaviours. Daybreak Clonliffe Road was awarded the top prize thanks to their impressive customer service and outstanding product offering.
Northern Ireland Stores of the Year
Barry McGuigan, Northern Ireland boxing legend, was on hand to congratulate Hegarty’s Fintona on winning the SuperValu ‘Store of the Year’, Watson’s Portaferry on winning the Centra ‘Store of the Year’ and Collingwood’s Aghalee on winning the Mace ‘Store of the Year’ award. All these stores showcase how we have evolved our convenience offer for shoppers in Northern Ireland, both in terms of the range associated with each of our brands and also in terms of in-store experience.
Giving small producers a big chance
Food Academy works with and nurtures small businesses through their journey from start-up to getting their products on our shelves. And in 2015, the programme moved up a gear. It now supports over 600 local suppliers on all aspects of the food business, from branding and marketing to finance and market research.
Over 900 jobs are supported by the Food Academy programme working in collaboration with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Office Network, actively encouraging entrepreneurship in Ireland.
Everest Granola, developed by a young Dublin entrepreneur to provide a healthy on-the-go breakfast, is a gourmet granola cup packed with natural Irish ingredients. Through participation in the Food Academy Advance programme, Seamus Tighe’s Everest Granola Cups are now available in 38 SuperValu stores nationwide.
‘The Food Academy has been a real learning experience that has enabled us to grow and to take on more people. The fantastic support from the Food Academy team has helped us turn our dream into a business.’
The Tipperary Kitchen
The Tipperary Kitchen are Brian and Ann Marie Walsh, who take traditional recipes and, using local ingredients, add their own innovative twist to create a range of products including Holycross Chocolate Biscuit Cake and Holycross Marvellous Meringues.
‘Working with the Food Academy team has enabled us to grow one step at a time. In the heart of rural Ireland, we now have 220 great customers, eight employees and a robust business. Food Academy has completely transformed our business and we are now available nationwide.’
Pasta lovers Nico Olivieri and Sabine Hobbel had a problem finding a healthy or delicious wheat-free pasta solution when Nico developed a wheat intolerance. Drawing on their background in food, they designed an extremely healthy range of high quality wheat-free pasta, using alternative whole grains.
‘Food Academy has worked with us every step of the way. From the opportunity to sell our products in local SuperValu stores, we’ve grown steadily and began central distribution nationwide in March 2016.’
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