Having recently launched a range of artisan products nationwide and been named as one of this year’s Grow with Aldi Programme Winners, Builín Blasta - the popular Irish language café & bakery based in Spiddal in the heart of Galway’s Gaeltacht - is predicting a record turnover for the business in 2023 of more than €1.2 million! Read on to discover more about this local success story...
This news comes as a result of Builín Blasta being handed a seasonal contract by Aldi to unleash the flavour of its multi award-winning Smoked Onion Mayo on supermarket shelves nationwide, supplying all 152 of its Irish stores. If the product performs as well as is expected and meets sales targets during the contract, there is an opportunity to receive a permanent listing with Aldi in the near future. More recently, the café & bakery has also secured a wholesale contract with Taste the View Ltd for national distribution of its homemade restaurant-quality range to independent food stores.
The impact this will have on the business’s bottom line is huge, with the increase in retail sales expected to deliver an estimated ten-fold growth in wholesale turnover worth €500,000 over the next twelve months. Owner, Heather Connolly, who took over the running of Builín Blasta back in 2015, has been instrumental in developing this aspect of the business in recent years. In 2018 she created her best-selling Smoked Onion Mayo and a range of six other homemade products, originally intended for use on the café & bakery’s menu, but that have become highly sought-after ever since. Each of the products were designed to help to boost the flavour of home cooking, elevating a dish with one simple, quick and delicious addition.
New Dedicated Manufacturing Facility
Fresh on the back of their Grow with Aldi success and, aided by funding from Údarás na Gaeltachta, Builín Blasta has scaled up significantly to meet the anticipated nationwide demand. Production of its award-winning Smoked Onion Mayo and the Spiddal-based café and bakery’s other gourmet sauces, chutneys, and dressings now have their own dedicated manufacturing facility. This has allowed for the introduction of semi-automatic processing, a key step in up-scaling the business to increase capacity. The new facility has also added another four full-time roles to the business, on top of the eighteen full-time and seasonal staff employed at the café.
All of these factors combined are set to help Builín Blasta triple its total turnover to €1.2 million (in 2023) in the space of just three years.
Smoked Onion Mayo
Heather’s addictive savoury creamy Smoked Onion Mayo works perfectly as a spread, dressing, or dip - making it the ideal accompaniment to burgers, chips, sandwiches, salads or just straight from the jar, it’s that good. Her product’s quality has been critically acclaimed and widely acknowledged in recent years, receiving Silver (2022) and Gold (2021) at the Blas na hEireann Awards, and Silver at the Rogha na Gaeltachta in 2020. Having a dedicated manufacturing facility will also mean new and exciting flavours being added to the range, with plans for a Spicy Smoked Onion Mayo in the offing.
Grow With Aldi
It was during the 2021 Blas na hEireann winners showcase event that Builín Blasta’s Smoked Onion Mayo first caught the attention of Aldi, with its Head Buyers noting it down as a standout product. Shortly after the leading retailer contacted Heather, encouraging her business to participate in the 2022 Grow with Aldi programme - an initiative developed in partnership with Bord Bia, which is designed to help the very best Irish suppliers develop their brand.
Unlike other programmes, the Grow with Aldi initiative is unique as it offers small independent businesses the opportunity to have their products stocked in a large number of stores nationwide within the matter of a few months.
This year’s programme generated huge interest from artisan producers across the country wanting to participate, with over 200 entries received. From those, Builín Blasta was chosen as one of twenty-four Finalists who had their products trialled in Aldi stores for a limited time only in May and June 2022. To their delight, there was huge demand for the café's condiment once it hit the shelves and its Smoked Onion Mayo has now successfully made its way through Aldi’s selection process and been awarded a seasonal contract to supply all 152 of its Irish stores since September 19th.
Commenting on her business’s Grow with Aldi triumph and the effect that his will have on her business, Builín Blasta’s Owner & Chef, Heather Connolly, said; "We knew our Smoked Onion Mayo had a bit of a cult following, but we were surprised to get through to the final round of Grow with Aldi at our first attempt. We are very proud of our one-of-a-kind product and love that customers are fanatical about it too. The Grow with Aldi initiative is going to provide a big boost for our business and means we can confidently make investments in new equipment and staff. Something that was on the cards for a long time, but is now a reality."
Builín Blasta’s Smoked Onion Mayo is available in Aldi stores nationwide in 330g jars priced at €3.79. The product can also be purchased in the cafe, or via their online shop at www.builinblasta.com for home delivery as well as select independent artisan food stores around the country.Published on Updated on