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Antrim company to provide gluten-free profiteroles for Sainsbury's

By Margaret Canning

A Co Antrim company which makes gluten-free foods has won a deal supplying its frozen profiteroles to 452 Sainsbury's stores.

Rule of Crumb, which is owned by Claire Hunter and Colum McLornan, already supplies its range to companies including online retailer Ocado and 200 Morrisons stores.

But Mr McLornan said the deal with Sainsbury's, which includes its 13 stores in Northern Ireland, was a landmark one for the Antrim firm.

"Usually when you get a supermarket deal you get into around 50 stores at the start, so it's a major achievement to get into 452 of them."

He said it had taken much "perseverance" to win the deal and that its cause was helped when the profiteroles won a major all-island award.

The salted caramel and chocolate sauce profiteroles won the new product of the year award at the Irish Freefrom Awards in Dublin last year. They sell for a recommended price of £2.95 for 16.

Mr McLornan and Ms Hunter were inspired to set up the company by the growing demand for coeliac-friendly foods - even though they themselves do not suffer from a gluten intolerance.

The pair, who have been friends since catering college, are also the owners of Ballycastle's Marine Hotel on the north coast - now accredited by the UK Coeliac Society.

Rule of Crumb also supplies supermarkets in the Middle East, the food service arms of Lynas and Hendersons in Northern Ireland, and some small independent traders in the Republic.

Mr McLornan and Ms Hunter set up the company in 2014 and a year later won a place on BBC2 reality TV business programme Dragon's Den.

But the pair lost out on a £60,000 investment from judge Deborah Meaden in return for 40% of the company.

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