Lidl makes €2.5 million supply deal with Irish artisan coffee producers

Retailer expands coffee range with introduction of 10 brand new barista-quality artisan coffees



25 May 2021 | 0

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Lidl has announced several deals collectively worth €2.5 million with five local Irish artisan coffee producers; Brady’s Coffee Company in Co. Wicklow, Soma Coffee Company in Co. Cork, The Galway Roast in Co. Galway, Bravo Tango in Co. Tyrone, and SlumberJack Coffee in Co. Antrim. The 12-month contracts will see 10 brand new freshly roasted coffees on Lidl shelves, bringing affordable barista quality coffee to Irish homes from Bantry through to Belfast.

With all coffees exclusively supplied to Lidl, the new Irish-made selection includes family-run Brady’s Coffee Company’s specially blended ground and whole bean coffee, with a fusion of earthy Guatemalan spice and smooth Brazilian chocolate notes, and young Cork-based business, Soma Coffee Company’s freshly roasted single-origin Brazilian Eldorado coffee, with alluringly mouth-watering milk chocolate, honey and almond notes.

Renowned for its blends, Brady’s Coffee Company was first established in 2017 when two brothers, Craig and Darren Brady, took their shared love for coffee and grew it into a family business which now employs seven people at its Wicklow-based premises, three of which have been newly hired as a direct result of the Lidl deal.

Using only the finest coffee beans, Brady’s head roaster, Catherine Brady, crafts the small batch producer’s coffee with care, creating quality coffee with flavour, including its delicious annual Christmas blend which is also set to go on sale in Lidl store’s island wide later this year as part of the retailer’s seasonal offering.

Putting the deal in context, Brady’s Coffee Company co-founder, Craig Brady, said; “With the tourism trade being our primary market over the years, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on our business, but this contract with Lidl has been the boost we needed. It has given us the security and stability to further develop our business, investing in new machinery and hiring a new assistant roaster, as well as exposure to a whole new customer base opening us to further opportunities. We’ve sadly seen the pandemic strong-arm so many local businesses into closure over the past year, but with Lidl’s support, we have been able to act agilely and as a result, we are now in a stronger position than ever.”

Soma Coffee Company currently employs 10 people across its two Cork-based coffee shops where they are well known for their supremely specialist coffee. With a focus on quality, Soma Coffee Company expertly roasts its flavoursome coffee on site at its local Tuckney Street shop.

“We are over the moon to be working with Lidl,” said Damien Twohig, Soma Coffee Company co-founder.

“Having closed our coffee shops due to Covid-19 restrictions, the contract with Lidl has given us a much needed lifeline,” Twohig added. “It gives us an island wide platform to expand our customer base beyond Cork and the financial injection to develop our business, and hopefully will bring us more opportunities further down the line too. We’ve always produced coffee with the ethos of quality over quantity, but with this support from Lidl, we can now do both!”

The Lidl contract is a key contributing factor in both businesses being able upgrade their roasters and invest in new automated packaging machinery, enabling more efficient production and growing their distribution potential.

“As a retailer committed to supporting local food and drink producers, we’re delighted to establish new relationships with such fantastic home-grown artisan producers, particularly after such a tough year for many small businesses,” said head of buying at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, Gary Murray.

“We were blown away by the passion these businesses have for coffee and the quality of their produce as a result. And we’re confident that our customers will love them just as much too,” he added.

With coffee shops closed for the majority of the pandemic period, small batch coffee roasters such as these local artisan producers, have had to adapt their businesses to survive. With many of them forced to diversify into online retail, the opportunity to stock their products on Lidl shelves is significant, exposing them to more than 1.5 million customers each week.



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