|The folks from Bunratty Mead (left) and O'Leary's Charlville arrive.|
Category winner for woodturning
Producing one of a kind pieces from Irish Timber, Thomas Adlum is based in Templemore. Self taught, but working with wood is in the family as his Dad was a carpenter. Thomas says his preference is to work with unusual woods that have been attacked by fungus, rot, wind, and often chainsaws! Thomas loves teaching and runs courses, ranging from 8 weeks to one day.
|Shirley Kingston receives her award from Tom, with Yours Truly.|
Category Winners for Artisan Jams Marmalades & Honey
I first came across Bee Sensations at the Doneraile Farmers Market and was amazed with the quality and uniqueness of their products. As you probably know, they use their home produced honey instead of sugar in their jams. But, being an innovative couple, Tom and Croéin didn't stop at that so now you can get beautiful jams such as Strawberry and Champagne. And in time for Christmas, they came out with yet another sweet winner, Amarena Cherries with Potcheen.
Shifted some furniture recently and was left with an small ugly patch where the skirting board was damaged. I think I've found my solution right here! The Irish Fair Door Company are bringing the magic and the fairies back to Irish homes and gardens. Relocating fairies is their motto and so if you have wee space in a room, in the garden wall, maybe at the base of a tree, why not install a fairy door - sure to delight the kids, the grandchildren and the little people.
The big hearted people that help the little people relocate, and make us all smile while they do so, also won a Helping Hands Award for their work in the community.
An Olivia Chocolate
Mullingar based Olivia has gone from making hurling sticks with her dad to creating award winning An Olivia Chocolates. Must admit I only came across her gorgeous products in Dingle this year where she was named the supreme champion at the October Blas Awards. The chocolates are a real pleasure and of course Olivia always incorporates local products.
|Award winners Sabrina and Michael of Tuscany Bistro|
Overall winner Celtic Artist
This is our youngest winner who does incredible pencil art and Pride of Ireland feel she is a force to be reckoned with. We’ll use her own words to explain: “You know when you are a little kid and you just discover the magic of pencils & you just want to draw on everything & anything?...I am still at that stage of my life.(at 20 yrs old!!!). "Meirleach Chroi" means "A Bandits Heart" the Bandit being my big softie of a horse.”
This family forage together and create local artisan products from their own home. THey enjoyed a great year in 2013 and now 2014 is starting well for them. You’ll find their unique products at markets across the country. Their foods are made from foraged wild berries,flowers,herbs & crabapples picked on the family farm in Co.Offaly. All the products are made by hand in small batches and include
O’Leary’s Bar CharlevilleKeeping It Irish
O’Leary’s Bar is a landmark in Charleville Co. Cork, run by a marvellous couple. It still boasts the same old time value and service that is often sadly missing in bigger slicker pubs nowadays
|Thomas Adlum (centre).|
From their mobile unit, Bean and Gone are well known to market stall holders in Cork and beyond. Indeed many a stall holder and customer has been delighted to see them set up as they are known to have great tasting teas and coffees for all. Indeed, they can turn up anywhere from local car boot sales to large sports events, so keep them in mind if you are organising an event.
Seanchai, in the museum in Listowel, consistently provides good old fashioned Irish food daily; staff are friendly and lovely to deal with. All the food is sourced locally and you can combine a meal here with a visit to the museum where local writers such as John B Keane and Bryan McMahon are honoured.
Bradleys Off-LicenceA family business since 1850, Bradley's is somewhat of a Cork institution, currently run by the 4th generation in the person of Michael Creedon. They pride ourselves on a personal, friendly service. They also pride themselves on selling the best of Irish, as many artisans find shelf space here. And if you want an Irish craft beer, then Bradley’s is the place to go! And if you can't make it in person then check them out online.
A lovely well run restaurant in Kinsale County Cork. Up to 2012, John and Julie Finn were running a highly successful restaurant called Dillon’s in Timoleague and seemed set for a long stay. But, through no fault of their own, they had to leave. Soon though they bounced back and early last year started Finns' Table in Kinsale. Serving the very best of local produce, the couple haven't looked back since.
Producing a range of fresh fruit drinks including their award winning apple juice, this company is well known for being there for any good cause in their community. They are also well known for top notch quality and, under the driving and innovative force that is Maurice Gilbert, have won a string of awards including a few at Blas.
|Winner: Fiona Dillon.|
The Cake Fairy Cork
Joanne, Cork’s own Cake Fairy, along with her mom, are our overall winners for outstanding breads and cakes. In fact, Mam’s brown bread is some of the best in Ireland. Joanne creates all her products from scratch and has a wide range of specialty cakes in her range. The Cake Fairy picked up a second award as they were also deemed the Champion Bakers, “streets ahead” according to the judges.
|Bakers supreme: Joanne and her Mum.|
Keeping it as Irish as it comes, this company has been working for over thirty years making one of the best things to ever come out of Ireland and certainly one of the oldest products…Potcheen, once known as moonshine or, as the song said, the good old mountain dew.
Tom and Croéin were the overall winners “not only because of the quality and uniqueness of their products but also because they are most certainly true artisans and produce a delicious range of honey based products from their own honey. They are master beekeepers for 30 years plus. They also tirelessly promote and encourage other artisans We have been really impressed with their efforts and the pride they take in keeping things Irish”. And so say all of us.