Thursday 20th Oct 2022

The Food Exchange Ireland

The Food Exchange Ireland

Date:Thursday 20th Oct 2022
Time:09:00 - 14:00

If you're looking to start or grow a food or drink business, this online event is for you! Industry experts and successful entrepreneurs will be on hand to provide top tips for growing a great brand and how to consider sustainability, while a range of buyers will share how you can pitch your products. 

You'll enjoy a full day programme of business advice, and four attendees will have the opportunity to pitch live to a buyer on stage. Exchange events put you in touch with large brand buyers looking for products just like yours. Apply to pitch your business!


10am: Welcome to the Food Exchange

Nicola Woods, head of Enterprise Nation Ireland, will welcome you to the Food Exchange and share details of the day ahead.

10.10am: My business journey  Alice Carroll, co-founder, Foxes Bow Whiskey

Alice Carroll is the co-founder of Foxes Bow Whiskey. Having worked for the bones of a decade across some of the world's most well-known whiskies (including Jameson, The Glenlivet and Chivas), she returned to Ireland with an ambition to disrupt the whiskey industry for good and make whiskey accessible to all.

Since launching in November 2021, Foxes Bow Whiskey has proven it does things differently, from its unusual barrel finish to its contemporary branding and most recently its novel crowdfunding approach. Not yet a year old, Foxes Bow is one to watch.

10.45am: Key sustainability considerations for your food or drink business

Join a panel discussion centred around sustainability for your food or drink business. Hear from:

  • Maria Svejdar, Head of Marketing & CX, GS1 Ireland
  • Donal Quinn, Founder, ENSO
  • Donal Whelton, Head of Agriculture, AIB

11.30am: Blackfire Food's branding journey with Tim McCarthy

Blackfire Food is a multi-award-winning hot sauce company based in Belfast. Owner and chief alchemist Tim McCarthy started making small-batch sauces commercially seven years ago in his kitchen, testing them out on friends and family. Since giving up a very successful career as a street artist 18 months ago, Tim now produces a range of chilli oils and spice mixes as well as his sauces.

12 noon: Lunch break

12.30pm: How to take your food business to the next level 

John Stapleton is the founder of New Covent Garden Soup Co and Little Dish and a mentor to Food Works Ireland. In this session, John will share how he got his products stocked in all the major UK supermarkets and will share tips for growing a successful food business.

1pm: Meet the member  Seany McCleary

Seany McCleary will share his journey of setting up Blásta and Streat School. After spending almost five years working and travelling through more than 20 countries before returning to Ireland, Seany and co-founder Nikita grew obsessed with street food culture and how it brought people and communities together.

It was only a matter of time before street food enthusiasts began to approach Seany and Nikita seeking advice and mentoring on setting up a food truck or catering company. Since early 2019, the pair have helped set up over 40 street food businesses in Ireland and the UK.

1.30pm: Meet the buyer – Sodexo

Aoife Wycherley is head of food procurement and supply chain at Sodexo UK&I and will share what you need to know to make sure your products are Sodexo-ready! Aoife has a strong personal passion for diversity in the supply chain and chairs the Business Service Association's SME Partnership Committee in the UK. She will explain what buyers consider from a sustainability standpoint when it comes to considering new brands. 

2pm: Live pitching to buyers

Four of our lucky attendees will conduct a live pitch to Sodexo live on the main stage. You can apply to pitch your products to Aoife live at the event

2.20pm: Networking

Check out our sponsors over on the exhibition stage or head over to the networking zone to meet like-minded founders.

3pm: Event ends

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