I am a bit shaky today after a long drive back last night from Dublin, the last part of it in the dense fog, and it was well past 1:00am when I arrived home. We really are in the back of beyond here in Dingle.
The Bord Bia’s Specialty Food Forum was interesting – all the food producers had the same-sized little booths, and had schedules set up with fifteen minutes to meet with various Irish and UK buyers in a business version of speed dating. Luckily my brother is the good talker, so I mostly handed out ice cream and let him take care of things.
As we don’t have much interest in the big multiples at this point, it was mostly a case of listening and learning, and I think we did learn a lot. I came away with the deep conviction that our own shops are really where the short-term future lies for us, and I really would like to open another!
Anyway, it’s easy to be critical of the government agencies, but I think this is an example of fresh thinking on the part of Bord Bia, and I commend them for it.
There were many food friends there, such as Fothergills, Mortons, Urru, Ivan’s, Anderson’s to name just a few, and some new to ones to discover (at least for me, for most of them are well-discovered by this point!) including Ummera, who do fabulous smoked goods and also have a blog. Conor O’Neill wrote about them some time ago.
There was a big gala dinner and party at the end of it all, but the road home beckoned, and it’s good to be back in Dingle. It looks like Monday we will take our first delivery of Kerry Cow milk, so there’s much to do back here!