Poitín Company Sees Potential Expansion
Published on Dec 16 2013 1:41 PM in General Industry
Having branched out to Tesco last October, Coomara was the first ever poitín sold in supermarkets in Ireland. Developers of the brand, Gary Gartland and Bronagh Conlon, are now setting their sights for global exports next year with the support of Bord Bia.
The Drogheda-based entrepreneurs set up the company last February when the demand for Irish whiskey was on the rise. They researched the historical tipple and found that poitín was still being mixed in cocktails all over the world.
After West Cork Distillers agreed to produce the product earlier in the year, Gartland and Conlon developed it and branded it as "Coomara".
"It all happened very quickly, we set up the company in April in Drogheda and made a presentation to Tesco in June and they agreed to list it in 70 stores. In September, we took it to the National Ploughing Championships where it was sampled by 12,000 people and went down very well," Mr Gartland told The Irish Examiner.
"Turning the concept of a new poitín into a product on Tesco shelves happened very quickly. Companies usually start selling new drinks to the on and off trade, but we decided it would be faster and more efficient to go to the retail market first."
Since its launch, Coomara has sold in bulk to pubs and off-licenses in Louth, to a chain of Irish bars in Seville as well as a cocktail bar in London. They are now negotiating with distributors in Paris and Russia.
Coomara Poitín comes in plain, wild-berry and orchard fruit flavours.